United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SIPPEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Keyanna Fields brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g) seeking judicial review of the Social Security
Commissioner's (“Commissioner”) decision to
deny her applications for disability insurance benefits and
supplemental security income. Because the Commissioner's
decision is supported by substantial evidence on the record
as a whole, I affirm the decision.
March 11, 2016, the plaintiff filed a Title II application
for disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) and a
Title XVI application for supplemental security income
(“SSI”). These claims were initially denied on
May 19, 2016, and the plaintiff filed a written request for a
hearing on June 1, 2016. The hearing was held on February 20,
2018. The ALJ issued her decision denying the Plaintiff's
applications on June 1, 2018. The plaintiff timely appealed,
and the Appeals Counsel affirmed the ALJ's opinion. The
plaintiff then timely filed this case seeking judicial review
of the Commissioner's decision.
action for judicial review, Fields argues that the ALJ
improperly excluded additional evidence provided on August
27, 2018 and that the ALJ's residual function capacity
findings were not supported by substantial evidence.
RECORDS AND OTHER EVIDENCE BEFORE THE ALJ
plaintiff, Keyanna Fields, has suffered from seizures since a
car accident in 2004. [Tr. 328]. Additionally, plaintiff
Fields suffers from obstructive sleep apnea and obesity. [Tr.
hearing before the ALJ, Fields testified that she was 38
years old and lived with her two children. [Tr. 54, 60]. She
also stated that here mother lived nearby to help her as
necessary. [Tr. 70]. She also testified that she could cook,
clean, and take care of herself and her children most days
and that she only has difficulty when she has seizures [Tr.
70-72], which occur on average less than once a month. [Tr.
to the record, the plaintiff has made frequent visits to her
doctors through out the relevant time period, these visits
were primarily focused on her seizure disorder. Her treatment
for the seizure disorder involved the use of multiple
high-risk medications. Although she was generally compliant
with the doctors treatment program, she did fail to take her
medications as prescribed on several occasions, which
increased her risk of seizure. [Tr. 580]. She is also
prohibited from driving because of her seizures and only
drives occasionally to bring her son to the doctor or get
groceries. [Tr. 55-60]. In addition to her treatment for the
seizures, the plaintiff uses a CPAP machine to manage her
obstructive sleep apnea, which she was diagnosed with on
March 19, 2016 [Tr. 396-97].
addition to reviewing the transcript of the administrative
proceedings and the medical records provided, I reviewed the
statements of fact provided by the parties. The plaintiff did
not provide any citations to the record in her statement of
facts. ECF No. . The Commissioner provided a more detailed
recitation of the facts that cites to the administrative
record. ECF No. [19-1]. Additionally, although the
Commissioner's statement of facts contradicts a few of
the assertions made in the plaintiff's statement of
facts, it provides a fair and accurate description of the
relevant record before me. Accordingly, I adopt the
Commissioner's Statement of Material Facts ECF No. [19-1]
as uncontroverted by Fields.
first found that Fields met the insured status requirements
through December 31, 2017, and that the plaintiff had not
engaged in substantial gainful activity since November 24,
2014. The ALJ then determined that the plaintiff suffered the
severe impairments of a seizure disorder, obesity, and
obstructive sleep apnea, but that these impairments did not
meet or medically equal the severity of one of the listed
impairments in 10 CFR Part 404. Therefore, the ALJ had to
determine the plaintiff's residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) and ability to work.
on her consideration of the record, the ALJ found that the
plaintiff had a RFC to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR §§ 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) but with the
following limitations: occasional climbing of ramps and
stairs; no climbing of ladders, ropes, or scaffolds;
occasional balancing; no work at unprotected heights; no work
around moving mechanical parts or dangerous objects; no work
around open fires; no work that requires swimming; never
operating a motor vehicle; and never working in extreme cold
or heat. Based on this RFC, the ALJ found that the Plaintiff
could perform her past relevant work of being a companion, as
well as other jobs existing in sufficient numbers in the
national economy. Accordingly, the ALJ denied the
plaintiff's applications because she found that she was
not under a disability as defined in the Social Security Act.