United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER
BRUCE S. JENKINS U.S. SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE.
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 405(g), 1383(c)(3), seeks judicial
review of the decision of the Acting Commissioner of Social
Security (Commissioner) denying his claims for Disability
Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Income
(SSI) under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (the
Act). After careful review of the entire record, the
parties' briefs, the relevant law, and arguments
presented at a hearing held on May 17, 2018, the Court FINDS
that the decision of the Commissioner should be REMANDED.
Angela L. Prichard ("Plaintiff) filed an application for
Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) on April 16, 2014, and
for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on May 23, 2014,
alleging disability on March 7, 2014 (Certified Transcript of
the Administrative Record "Tr." at 10). She alleged
disability related to severe impairments of right breast
cancer, degenerative disease of the spine, shoulders, hips,
and knee, peripheral neuropathy, chronic pain syndrome, and
obesity (Tr. 12, 70).
meets insured status requirements of the Social Security Act
through September 30, 2019, and has not engaged in
substantial gainful activity ("SGA") since March 7,
2014, the alleged onset date (Tr. 12). The claims were denied
initially on July 31, 2014, and upon reconsideration on
January 15, 2015 (Tr. 10), then in a hearing decision dated
January 23, 2017, by Administrative Law-Judge
("ALJ") Gary L. Vanderhoof (Tr. 28).
found that the Plaintiff has severe impairments of right
breast cancer, mild degenerative changes of the left and
right wrists, degenerative disc disease of the cervical and
lumbar spine, bilateral hip bursitis, bilateral partial
shoulder tears and arthritis of the acromioclavicular joints,
mild right knee degeneration, peripheral neuropathy, chronic
pain syndrome, and obesity (Tr. 12), concluding that she does
not have an impairment or combination of impairments that
meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed
impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (Tr.
concluded that the Plaintiff had the residual functional
capacity ("RFC") to perform light work as defined
in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except the Plaintiff can
perform right overhead reaching on an occasional basis only;
can handle, finger and feel bilaterally frequently; can lift
and carry a maximum of twenty pounds, ten pounds frequently;
can perform postural activities on an occasional basis; can
stand, sit, and walk each for six hours; cannot climb
ladders, ropes or scaffolds; and cannot work at unprotected
heights or around dangerous moving machinery (Tr. 13).
on this RFC, the ALJ concluded that the Plaintiff is unable
to perform any past relevant work as a hair dresser, skilled
work with a specific vocational preparation ("SVP")
of 6 (Tr. 20). The Plaintiff was 50-years-old on the alleged
date of onset for disability, had limited education, was able
to communicate in English. The ALJ found that transferability
of job skills was not material as. Medical-Vocational Rules
as a framework supports a finding of "not disabled,
" and there are jobs that exist in significant numbers
in the national economy that the claimant can perform (Tr.
21). The Vocational Expert ("VE") testified that
the Plaintiff could perform the requirements of
representative occupations such as mail clerk, cashier, and
production helper, all light, unskilled work with an SVP of 2
September 8, 2017, the Appeals Council denied a request for
review, making the ALJ's determination the final agency
decision (T. 1) and the Plaintiff filed a timely suit with
standard of review for appeal of a Social Security disability
determination is whether the final decision is supported by
substantial evidence in the record as a whole and whether the
correct legal standards were applied. See Williamson v.
Barnhart, 350 F.3d 1097, 1098 (10th Cir. 2003). A
decision "is not based on substantial evidence if it is
overwhelmed by other evidence in the record or if there is a
mere scintilla of evidence supporting it." Hamlin v.
Barnhart, 365 F.3d 1208, 1214 (10th Cir. 2004)
(citations omitted). Further, reversal is also '
appropriate where the ALJ either applies an incorrect legal
standard or fails to demonstrate reliance on the correct
legal standards. Hamlin, 365 F.3d at 1214 (citing
Winfrey v. Chater, 92 F.3d 1017, 1019 (10th Cir.
Plaintiff was born January 15, 1964, was 50-years-old on the
alleged date of onset for disability (defined as an
individual closely approaching advanced age), has limited
education, and is able to communicate in English (Tr. 21).
hearing, the Plaintiff testified she spends significant time
in bed, up to 70%-80% of.her days, with difficulty walking
down her long driveway with her dog (Tr. 47), has variable
ability to walk, that she takes stairs sideways due to fear
of falling (Tr. 57), and that she experienced symptoms of
neuropathy during the hearing, with tingling feet (Tr. 60).
She further testified to needing a recliner for ...