United States District Court, D. Colorado
OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. WATANABE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
government determined that Plaintiff is not disabled for
purposes of the Social Security Act. (AR 30). Plaintiff
has asked this Court to review that decision. The Court has
jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), and both parties
have agreed to have this case decided by a U.S. Magistrate
Judge under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (Docket No. 13).
Social Security appeals, the Court reviews the decision of
the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) to determine
whether the factual findings are supported by substantial
evidence and whether the correct legal standards were
applied. See Pisciotta v. Astrue, 500 F.3d 1074,
1075 (10th Cir. 2007). “Substantial evidence is such
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion. It requires more than a scintilla, but
less than a preponderance.” Raymond v. Astrue,
621 F.3d 1269, 1271-72 (10th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation
marks omitted). The Court “should, indeed must,
exercise common sense” and “cannot insist on
technical perfection.” Keyes-Zachary v.
Astrue, 695 F.3d 1156, 1166 (10th Cir. 2012). The Court
cannot reweigh the evidence or its credibility. Lax v.
Astrue, 489 F.3d 1080, 1084 (10th Cir. 2007).
determined that Plaintiff has the following residual
functional capacity (“RFC”), as is relevant here:
. . . [Plaintiff] has the residual functional capacity to
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and
416.967(b) except that he can lift and carry a maximum of 10
pounds frequently and 10 pounds occasionally, sit for six
hours total in an eight-hour workday, and stand and/or walk
for six hours total in an eight-hour workday. The claimant
can never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; can
occasionally climb ramps and stairs, stoop, and crawl; and
can frequently balance. He can frequently reach in all
(AR 23). The ALJ explained that “[d]ue to his cervical
spine surgeries, lumbar spine condition, and right clavicle
surgery the claimant is limited to lifting 10 pounds
occasionally and 10 pounds frequently, because lifting more
than this amount would likely aggravate his neck pain and
upper extremity symptoms.” (AR 25). The ALJ further
explained: “physical examinations have shown mild
weakness in his upper extremities, which justifies a
limitation to lifting 10 pounds, although on occasion the
claimant demonstrated full strength in his upper
extremities.” (AR 25). At the June 25, 2015 hearing,
the ALJ asked Deborah Christensen, the Vocational Expert
(“VE”) whether Plaintiff could perform his past
work and also about potential jobs he could perform. (AR
68-70). The VE testified that, based on the above
limitations, Plaintiff could not perform his past work. (AR
69). The ALJ then had the following exchange with the VE:
ALJ: Okay. So for someone closely approaching advanced age
with more than a high school education would there be other
jobs that would be possible in the light category?
VE: Yes, there would. All righty. Okay, one example would be
that of a small products assembler. That DOT code number is
706.684-022. It is light, SVP 2 and these jobs occur
nationally at a rate of approximately 116, 000 and regionally
or within the state of Colorado at a rate of approximately 1,
Well, let's see here, one moment, and you know, Your
Honor, I believe that's my only example.
ALJ: Okay. And would there be skills that would transfer to
sedentary work within those limitations?
ALJ: And would the small product assembler be possible if the
reaching in all directions were occasional ...