Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Edwards v. Commissioner, Social Security Administration

United States District Court, D. Colorado

January 15, 2019

WILLIAM LEE EDWARDS, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.

          ORDER

          RAYMOND P. MOORE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's request for judicial review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) of Defendant's denial of his application for disability insurance benefits. (ECF No. 1.) The parties have fully briefed the matter. For the reasons set forth below, the Court affirms the Commissioner's decision.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his application in April 2016, alleging disability beginning on November 14, 2015. In June 2017, after a hearing at which Plaintiff testified and was represented by counsel, an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) denied his claim.

         The ALJ applied the five-step process for evaluating disability claims. See Wall v. Astrue, 561 F.3d 1048, 1052 (10th Cir. 2009). At step one, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date. At step two, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress disorder, vertiginous syndrome, osteoarthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. At step three, the ALJ determined Plaintiff's physical and mental impairments, considered independently and in combination, did not meet or equal the severity of a listed impairment.

         Before reaching step four, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work, subject to limitations. The applicable regulation provides the following definition:

Light work involves lifting no more than 20 pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 10 pounds. Even though the weight lifted may be very little, a job is in this category when it requires a good deal of walking or standing, or when it involves sitting most of the time with some pushing and pulling of arm or leg controls. To be considered capable of performing a full or wide range of light work, you must have ability to do substantially all of these activities.

20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(b). The ALJ further limited Plaintiff's RFC as follows:

[Plaintiff] can lift/carry 10 pounds frequently and 20 pounds occasionally in an 8 hour day, sit for 6 hours with usual breaks, and stand/walk for 6 hours per day. [Plaintiff] can occasionally climb, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. [Plaintiff] can frequently handle and finger bilaterall y. [Plaintiff] can have only occasional interaction with coworkers, supervisors, and the general public. [Plaintiff] is limited to understanding, remembering, and carrying out only simple instructions. [Plaintiff] is limited to making simple work related decisions. [Plaintiff] cannot deal with more than routine changes in work settings.

(ECF No. 9-2 at 25, ¶ 5.)

         At step four, the ALJ determined Plaintiff was unable to perform his past relevant work as a journeyman electrician. But at step five, the ALJ determined that given Plaintiff's RFC, age, education, and work experience, he could do other jobs existing in significant numbers in the national economy, including small product assembler, electronics worker, and machine operator.

         The Appeals Council denied review, making the ALJ's decision final. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.981. Plaintiff argues the ALJ erred by (1) giving great weight to some, but not all, of a medical opinion by an examining physician, Dr. Ronald Jendry, (2) failing to adequately explain his RFC, specifically the basis for the ALJ's determination that he was able to handle and finger frequently, and (3) failing to give sufficient weight to two opinions from treating sources, Dr. Seth Gursky and Mr. Shawn Griffin.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Court reviews the ALJ's decision to determine whether the factual findings are supported by substantial evidence and whether the correct legal standards were applied. Mays v. Colvin, 739 F.3d 569, 571 (10th Cir. 2014). “Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. It requires more than a scintilla, but less than a preponderance.” Wall, 561 F.3d at 1052 (quotation omitted). To determine whether the substantiality test has been met, the Court meticulously examines the record as a whole, including anything that may undercut or detract from the ALJ's findings, but the Court does not reweigh the evidence or retry the case. Id. “The possibility of drawing two inconsistent ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.