Coleman v. Colvin
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Colemans motion to alter or amend the judgment (#24) is DENIED. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 4/11/2018. (JMC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
SANDRA FAYE COLEMAN,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL,1
Deputy Commissioner of Operations,
Social Security Administration,
Case No. 4:16-CV-1546-SNLJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration denied plaintiff Sandra
Coleman’s applications for Disability Insurance Benefits under Title II of the Social
Security Act and Supplemental Security Income under Title XVI of the Social Security
Act. She sought judicial review (#15), and this Court affirmed (#22) the Administrative
Law Judge’s (“ALJ”) decision. Now, Coleman asks the Court to alter or amend its
judgment (#24). The Commissioner did not respond, and the time for doing so has
Coleman makes three arguments in asking the Court to alter or amend its
First, Coleman argues her residual functional capacity (“RFC”) does not fall
somewhere in the middle of light and sedentary work because she can stand and walk no
Nancy A. Berryhill is now the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Social Security
Administration. Pursuant to Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Nancy A.
Berryhill is substituted for Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin as the defendant in this suit.
more than two hours in an eight-hour workday. As this Court explained, some parts of
Coleman’s RFC are consistent with light work, while other parts are consistent with
First, Coleman can lift and carry up to 20 pounds occasionally (very
little up to 2.67 hours in an 8-hour workday). This is consistent with light
work. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(b), 416.967(b). Second, as explained above,
Coleman cannot carry 10 pounds frequently (2.67 hours to 5.33 hours in an
8-hour workday) because she cannot walk or stand more than 2 hours in an
8-hour workday. And although lifting requires being on one’s feet, “[t]he
lifting requirement for the majority of light jobs can be accomplished with
occasional . . . stooping.” SSR 83-10, 1983 WL 31251, at *6. Coleman
can occasionally stoop, which means she can perform at least a reduced
range of the lifting that light work requires. Third, Coleman’s 2-hour
standing or walking restriction is consistent with sedentary work. 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(a), 416.967(a). Fourth, Coleman can sit for 6 hours in
an 8-hour workday and occasionally use foot controls on the left. Light
work can involve “sitting most of the time with some pushing and pulling
of arm or leg controls.” 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(b), 416.967(b). This is also
consistent with at least a reduced range of light work.
(#22 at 11.) “While Coleman cannot perform a full range (substantially all of the light
work activities) of light work, she clearly can perform more than just sedentary work.
Coleman does not argue that she is unable to perform those parts of her RFC that are
consistent with light work.” Id. For the second time, and for the same reasons, this
Second, Coleman argues the Court erred in relying on Stone v. Colvin, No. 4:14CV-494-ACL, 2015 WL 1433469 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 27, 2017). In Stone, the claimant
could stand and walk up to four hours in an eight-hour workday. Stone, 2015 WL
1433469, at *8. Because four hours of standing and walking clearly falls between light
and sedentary work, Coleman claims, Stone is distinguishable. But this Court did not
rely on the facts of Stone. Instead, this Court explained Stone stands for the proposition
“that an ALJ still should elicit VE testimony when a claimant’s RFC falls between light
and sedentary work, even if the occupational base for light work is significantly
reduced[.]” (#24 at 12.) As explained above, Coleman’s RFC falls between light and
sedentary work. As much as Coleman wants to focus on her standing and walking
restriction, light work involves more than just standing and walking. This error runs
through all of Coleman’s arguments, just as it did when she first sought judicial review.
Third, Coleman argues the Court applied an incorrect standard of review by
analyzing only whether the ALJ’s decision was supported by substantial evidence.
Instead, the Court also should have analyzed whether the ALJ applied the correct legal
standards. This argument misunderstands the Court’s analysis. After finding that
Coleman’s RFC contradicted itself, the Court found the RFC still fell somewhere
between light and sedentary work. Because Coleman’s RFC fell somewhere in the
middle, the ALJ correctly applied the law and used the Grids as a framework. SSR 8310, 1983 WL 31251, at *3 (Jan. 1, 1983). Next, the ALJ correctly applied the law and
relied on vocational expert testimony to determine the erosion of Coleman’s occupational
base for light work. Id. Coleman’s argument fails.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Coleman’s motion to alter or amend the
judgment (#24) is DENIED.
So ordered this 11th day of April 2018.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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