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Haller v. Colvin

United States District Court, D. Oregon

March 26, 2015

JUSTIN HALLER, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner, Social Security Administration, Defendant.

RORY JOSEPH LINERUD, Linerud Law Firm, Salem, OR, Attorney for Plaintiff.

S. AMANDA MARSHALL, United States Attorney, RONALD K. SILVER, Assistant United States Attorney, Portland, OR, DAVID MORADO, Regional Chief Counsel, JOHN C. LAMONT, Special Assistant United States Attorneys, Seattle, WA, Attorneys for Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

ANNA J. BROWN, District Judge.

Plaintiff Justin Haller seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA) in which she denied Plaintiff's application for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) under Title II of the Act and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title XVI of the Act.

This Court has jurisdiction to review the Commissioner's decision pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Following a thorough review of the record, the Court AFFIRMS the final decision of the Commissioner.

ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Plaintiff filed his application for DIB on August 6, 2010, and Plaintiff's application for SSI on August 16, 2010. Tr. 13.[1] His applications were denied initially and on reconsideration. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) held a hearing on October 15, 2012. Tr. 30. At the hearing Plaintiff was represented by an attorney. Plaintiff and a vocational expert (VE) testified at the hearing. Tr. 31.

The ALJ issued a decision on November 1, 2012, in which she found Plaintiff is not entitled to benefits. Tr. 13-21. That decision became the final decision of the Commissioner on December 4, 2013, when the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. Tr. 1-4. See Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, 106-07 (2000).

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff was born on October 9, 1977; was 35 years old on the date of the hearing; and has a tenth-grade education. Tr. 222, 226. Plaintiff has prior relevant work experience as a construction worker. Tr. 19, 50.

Plaintiff alleges disability since July 3, 2009, due to "[n]erve damage" in his right foot. Tr. 222, 226.

Except as noted, Plaintiff does not challenge the ALJ's summary of the medical evidence. After carefully reviewing the medical records, this Court adopts the ALJ's summary of the medical evidence. See Tr. 15-23.

STANDARDS

The initial burden of proof rests on the claimant to establish disability. Molina v. Astrue, 674 F.3d 1104, 1110 (9th Cir. 2012). To meet this burden a claimant must demonstrate his inability "to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which... has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months." 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). The ALJ must develop the record when there is ambiguous evidence or when the record is inadequate to allow for proper ...


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