JESSIE D. PAGE, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
Tim Wilborn, Wilborn Law Office, P.C., Las Vegas, Nevada, Attorney for plaintiff.
S. Amanda Marshall, United States Attorney, Adrian L. Brown, Assistant United States Attorney, Portland, Oregon.
Gerald J. Hill, Special Assistant United States Attorney, Social Security Administration, Seattle, Washington, Attorneys for defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
ANN AIKEN, Chief District Judge.
Plaintiff Jessie Page brings this action pursuant to the Social Security Act ("Act") to obtain judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying his application for supplemental security income ("SSI"). For the reasons set forth below, the Commissioner's decision is affirmed and this case is dismissed.
On February 23, 2009, plaintiff filed his most recent application for SSI. Tr. 10, 110-12. After the application was denied initially and upon reconsideration, plaintiff timely requested a hearing before an administrative law judge ("ALJ"). Tr. 82-85. On January 27, 2011, an ALJ hearing was held before the Honorable Edward Hein; plaintiff was represented by counsel and testified therein, as did plaintiff's mother, Caramia Page, and a vocational expert ("VE"). Tr. 35-68. On February 15, 2011, ALJ Hein issued a decision finding plaintiff not disabled within the meaning of the Act. Tr. 10-16. After the Appeals Council declined review, plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court. Tr. 1-5.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
Born on August 11, 1988, plaintiff was 20 years old on the alleged onset date of disability and 22 years old at the time of the hearing. Tr. 15, 39, 110. Plaintiff dropped out of high school after completing the eleventh grade. Tr. 46, 122. He previously worked as forestry aid. Tr. 42-43, 118. Plaintiff alleges that he became disabled on January 1, 2005 due to chronic testicular pain. Tr. 117.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
The court must affirm the Commissioner's decision if it is based on proper legal standards and the findings are supported by substantial evidence in the record. Hammock v. Bowen , 879 F.2d 498, 501 (9th Cir. 1989). Substantial evidence is "more than a mere scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Richardson v. Perales , 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971) (quoting Consol. Edison Co. v. N.L.R.B. , 305 U.S. 197, 229 (1938)). The court must weigh "both the evidence that supports and detracts from the [Commissioner's] conclusions." Martinez v. Heckler , 807 F.2d 771, 772 (9th Cir. 1986).
The initial burden of proof rests upon the claimant to establish disability. Howard v. Heckler , 782 F.2d 1484, 1486 (9th Cir. 1986). To meet this burden, the claimant must demonstrate an "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected.... to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months." 42 U.S.C. § 423 (d) (1) (A).
The Commissioner has established a five-step sequential process for determining whether a person is disabled. Bowen v. Yuckert , 482 U.S. 137, 140 (1987); 20 C.F.R. § 416.920. First, the Commissioner determines whether a claimant is engaged in "substantial gainful activity." Yuckert , 482 U.S. at 140; 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(b). If so, the claimant is not disabled.
At step two, the Commissioner determines whether the claimant has a "medically severe impairment or combination of impairments." Yuckert , 482 U.S. at 140-41; 20 C.F.R. § ...