United States District Court, D. Oregon
W. BREWER Attorney for Plaintiff
J. WILLIAMS JANICE E. HEBERT JORDAN D. GODDARD Attorneys for
OPINION AND ORDER
Malcolm F. Marsh United States District Judge
Timothy Endicott, brings this action for judicial review of a
final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (the
"Commissioner") denying Plaintiffs application for
supplemental security income ("SSI") under title
XVI of the Social Security Act (the "Act"). This
Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
For the reasons that follow, the final decision of the
Commissioner is AFFIRMED.
October 31, 2011, Plaintiff filed an application for SSI
alleging disability beginning May 1, 2005. Tr. 137-45.
Plaintiff alleged disability due to severe depression, severe
anxiety attacks, crushed/cracked vertebrae, high blood
pressure, a torn rotator cuff, and luekoplakia in his throat.
Tr. 137-45, 178, Plaintiffs application was denied initially
and upon reconsideration, and Plaintiff requested a hearing.
Tr. 65-76, 78-90.
November 18, 2013, a hearing was held before Administrative
Law Judge ("ALJ") James W. Sherry. Tr. 33-64. On
December 20, 2013, the ALJ issued a decision finding
Plaintiff not disabled within the meaning of the Act. Tr.
requested review of the ALJ's decision, which the Appeals
Council denied on May 12, 2015. Tr. 1-7. Accordingly, the
ALJ's December 20, 2013, decision became the final
decision of the Commissioner.
1960, Plaintiff was 51 years old when he filed his
application for SSI disability benefits, and 53 years old on
the date of the ALJ's decision. Tr, 137. Plaintiff
dropped out of high school after completing the eleventh
grade and did not earn a high school equivalence degree, but
he later attended college for two years. Tr. 42, 179.
Plaintiff was self-employed as a singer and bass player in a
band for 30 years, but he has no "past relevant work,
" as defined by the Commissioner's regulations at 20
C.F.R. § 416.965. Tr. 26, 179.
ALJ'S DISABILITY ANALYSIS
Commissioner has established a five-step sequential process
for determining whether a person is disabled. Bowen v.
Yuckert, 482 U.S. 137, 140-42 (1987); 20 C.F.R. §
416.920(a)(4)(i)-(v). Each step is potentially dispositive,
The claimant bears the burden of proof at steps one through
four. Tackett v. Apfel, 180 F.3d 1094, 1098 (9th
Cir. 1999). The burden shifts to the Commissioner at
step five to show that a significant number of jobs exist in
the national economy that the claimant can perform.
Yuckert, 482 U.S. at 141-142; Tackett, 180
F.3d at 1098.
one, the Commissioner found that Plaintiff had not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since October 31, 2011, the
application date. Tr. 15.
two, the ALJ found Plaintiff suffered from the following
severe impairments: multilevel lumbar degenerative disc
disease, retrolisthesis, multilevel facet degeneration;
pancreatitis; diffuse liver steatosis; alcoholic hepatitis;
hypertension; plantar fasciitis; alcoholism with alcohol