United States District Court, D. Colorado
OPINION AND ORDER REVERSING THE COMMISSIONER'S
S. Krieger Chief United States District Judge
MATTER comes before the Court on the Plaintiff's
Complaint (# 1), the Plaintiff's Opening
Brief (# 17), the Defendant's Response
(# 18), and the Plaintiff's Reply
(# 21). For the following reasons, the
Commissioner's decision is reversed and the matter is
remanded for further proceedings.
Court has jurisdiction over an appeal from a final decision
of the Commissioner under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Coleman seeks judicial review of a final decision by the
Commissioner denying his claim for disability insurance
benefits (DIB) and supplemental security income (SSI) under
the Social Security Act. In April 2014, Mr. Coleman filed for
DIB and SSI, claiming he became disabled in September 2013.
Tr. at 218-30. His application was denied at all
administrative levels and he now appeals to this Court
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Court summarizes only the medical evidence relevant to its
time of his alleged onset of disability, Mr. Coleman was 34
years old. Tr. at 219. He was previously employed in a number
of jobs, but primarily as a fire inspector. Tr. at 278. He
claimed that he was disabled due to, among other things, back
pain, migraines, and anxiety. Tr. at 79.
2016, a day after the administrative hearing in this case,
Dr. Fernando Miranda wrote a brief opinion about Mr.
Coleman's impairments. Tr. at 723. The opinion read:
“Patient cannot sit or stand for long periods of time
needs to sit and stand at will due to back, leg, neck
pain.” Tr. at 723.
The ALJ's Decision
October 2016, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision to Mr.
Coleman. Tr. at 20-31. At step one, the ALJ found that Mr.
Coleman had not engaged in substantial gainful activity from
September 18, 2013, through his date last insured of December
31, 2018. Tr. at 22. At step two, the ALJ found that Mr.
Coleman had the following severe impairments: spine
disorders, an anxiety disorder, and migraine headaches. Tr.
at 22-23. At step three, she found that Mr. Coleman had no
impairment that met or medically equaled the presumptively
disabling conditions listed in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Appendix
1. Tr. at 23-24. The ALJ found that Mr. Coleman had the
residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform light work with
the following limitations: he must be able to switch between
sitting and standing every 30 minutes if he desires; he can
only occasionally stoop, or push and pull with his lower
extremities; he can never climb ladders, ropes, and
scaffolds; he can never be exposed to workplace hazards such
as moving mechanical parts and unprotected heights; he must
work indoors to avoid direct sunlight; he can only be exposed
to a moderate noise intensity; he can have no more than
occasional exposure to pulmonary irritants such as dusts,
odors, fumes, and gases; he is limited to simple, routine,
repetitive tasks and simple work-related decisionmaking; he
cannot work at a production pace; he can only adjust to at
most occasional changes in the general nature of the work
setting or tasks to be performed; and he can have no more
than occasional interaction with coworkers, supervisors, and
the general public. Tr. at 25. At step four, the ALJ found
that Mr. Coleman was unable to perform his past relevant
work. Tr. at 29. At step five, the ALJ concluded that,
considering Mr. Coleman's age, education, work
experience, and RFC, he could perform the following jobs in
the national economy: general office helper, mail sorter, and
photocopy scanner operator. Tr. at 29-30. In crafting the
RFC, the ALJ gave some weight to Dr. Miranda's opinion.
Tr. at 28.