United States District Court, D. Oregon
OPINION AND ORDER
ANN AIKEN, District Judge.
Plaintiff brings this proceeding to obtain judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision denying plaintiff's application for supplemental security income (SSI) benefits under the Social SecurityAct (the Act). See 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g), 1383(c)(3). The Commissioner's decision is affirmed.
On January 24, 2011; plaintiff protectively filed an application for SSI, tr. 22, 152; it was denied initially and on reconsideration. Tr. 89, 99. On August 8, 2012, plaintiff and a vocational expert (VE) appeared and testified before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Tr. 38-73. On September 4, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision finding plaintiff not disabled within the meaning of the Act. Tr. 19-37. On March 11, 2014, the Appeals Council denied review, rendering the ALJ's decision as the final agency decision. Tr. 2-6. Plaintiff now seeks judicial review.
Plaintiff was forty-nine years old at the time of the ALJ's decision, with a limited education and no past relevant work. Tr. 31, 152. Plaintiff alleges disability since November 22, 2010, due to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), drug dependency, and blurry vision. Tr. 42-43, 176.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
This court must affirm the Commissioner's decision if it is supported by substantial evidence in the record and the correct application of the law. Valentine v. Comm'r Soc. Sec. Admin, 574 F.2d 685, 690 (9th Cir. 2009). "Substantial evidence' means more than a mere scintilla, but less than a preponderance. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Desrosiers v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 846 F.2d 573, 576 (9th Cir. 1988) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). In determining whether substantial evidence supports the decision, 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). Where the evidence "is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, " the Commissioner's conclusion must be upheld. Burch v. Barnhart, 400 F.3d 676, 679 (9th Cir. 2005).
The ALJ evaluated plaintiff's allegation of disability pursuant to the relevant sequential process. See Bowen v. Yuckert, 482 U.S. 137, 140 (1987); 20 C.F.R. § 416.920. At step one, the ALJ found that plaintiff had not engaged in "substantial gainful activity" during the period of alleged disability. Tr. 24; 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(b).
At step two, the ALJ found that plaintiff had medically determinable impairments of ADHD, PTSD, a history of depression, an antisocial personality disorder, a history of right shoulder strain/sprain, chronic hip and back pain, and tingling in the hands. Tr. 24; 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(c). However, at step three, the ALJ found that these impairments did not meet or equal "One of a number of listed impairments that the [Commissioner] acknowledges are so severe as to preclude gainful activity." Tr. 25-26; 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(d).
At step four, the ALJ determined plaintiff's residual functional capacity (RFC) and found that plaintiff retained the RFC to perform medium work. Tr. 26. The ALJ also found that plaintiff is limited to routine and repetitive tasks and only occasional interaction with the public and coworkers. Tr. 26; 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(e). Based on plaintiff's limited work history, the ALJ did not consider plaintiff's ability to perform past relevant work. Tr. 31; 20 C. F.R. § 416.920 (f).
At step five, the ALJ found that plaintiff was capable of performing other work in the national economy as a cafeteria attendant, room cleaner, and garment sorter. Tr. 32; 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(g). Therefore, the ALJ found plaintiff not disabled under the meaning of the Act. Tr. 33.
Plaintiff asserts that the ALJ erred by: 1) rejecting plaintiff's subjective complaints; 2) failing to credit lay witness statements; 3) discounting the opinion of an examining psychologist, Dr. Duvall; and 4) finding that ...