United States District Court, D. Oregon
J. WALL Attorney for Plaintiff
J. WILLIAMS Acting United States Attorney JANICE E. HEBERT
Assistant United States Attorney
MORADO Regional Chief Counsel LISA GOLDOFTAS Special
Assistant United States Attorney Attorneys for Defendant
OPINION AND ORDER
J. BROWN United States District Judge
Cora Disney seeks judicial review of a final decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA) in
which she denied Plaintiff's- application for
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title XVI of the
Social Security Act. This Court has jurisdiction to review
the Commissioner's final decision pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
reasons that follow, the Court AFFIRMS the decision of the
Commissioner and DISMISSES this matter.
filed an application for SSI on October 16, 2007, and alleged
a disability onset date of July 1, 1984. Tr,
Her application was denied initially and on reconsideration.
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) held a hearing on May 5,
2010. Tr. 57. At the hearing Plaintiff and a vocational
expert (VE) testified. Plaintiff was represented by an
August 5, 2010, the ALJ issued an opinion in which he found
Plaintiff was not disabled and, therefore, was not entitled
to benefits. Tr. 57-71. At some point that decision became
the final decision of the Commissioner when the Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. Tr. 21.
See Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, 106-07 (2000).
filed a second application for SSI on July 23, 2011, and
alleged a disability onset date of July 1, 1984. Tr. 86. Her
application was denied initially and on reconsideration. An
ALJ held a hearing on August 6, 2014. Tr. 37-53. At the
hearing Plaintiff and a VE testified. Plaintiff was
represented by an attorney.
September 11, 2014, the ALJ issued an opinion in which he
found Plaintiff was not disabled and, therefore, was not
entitled to benefits. Tr. 21-31. On January 20, 2016, that
decision became the final decision of the Commissioner when
the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review. Tr. 1-7.
point Plaintiff filed a third application for SSI. The SSA
approved Plaintiff s third application finding her disabled
from March 10, 2016, forward. Accordingly, in this action
Plaintiff challenges the Commissioner's finding that she
was not disabled for the closed period of May 31, 2013,
through the date of the second ALJ's decision on
September 11, 2014.
was born on May 31, 1963, and was 50 years old at the time of
the 2014 hearing. Tr. 86. Plaintiff has an eighth-grade
education. Tr. 41. She does not have any past relevant work
experience. Tr. 30.
alleges disability due to post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), a back injury, "mental health issues," and
multiple personalities. Tr. 86.
when 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. 24-25, 27-29.
initial burden of proof rests on the claimant to establish
disability. Molina v. Astrue, 674 F.3d 1104, 1110
(9thCir. 2012}. To meet this burden, a claimant
must demonstrate her 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
evaluation of the evidence. McLeod v. Astrue, 640
F.3d 881, 885 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Mayes
v. Massanari, 276 F.3d 453, 459-60 (9th Cir.
district 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 as a whole.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g). See also Brewes v.
Comm'r of Soc. Sec. Admin., 682 F.3d 1157,
1161 (9th Cir. 2012). Substantial evidence is
"relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept
as adequate to support a conclusion." Molina,
674 F.3d. at 1110-11 (quoting Valentine v. Comm'r
Soc. Sec. Admin., 574 F.3d 685, 690 (9th Cir.
2009)). It is more than a mere scintilla [of evidence] but
less than a preponderance. Id. (citing
Valentine, 574 F.3d at 690).
is responsible for determining credibility, resolving
conflicts in the medical evidence, and resolving ambiguities.
Vasquez v. Astrue, 572 F.3d 586, 591 (9th
Cir. 2009). The court must weigh all of the evidence whether
it supports or detracts from the Commissioner's decision.
Ryan v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec, 528 F.3d 1194, 1198
(9th Cir. 2008). Even when the evidence is
susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, the
court must uphold the Commissioner's findings if they are
supported by inferences reasonably drawn from the record.
Ludwig v. Astrue, 681 F.3d 1047, 1051
(9th Cir. 2012). The court may not substitute its
judgment for that of the Commissioner. Widmark v.
Barnhart, 454 F.3d 1063, 1070 (9th Cir.
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