United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Michael W. Mosman Chief United States District Judge
Joann Ryan Stanley challenges the Commissioner's decision
denying her claim for Disability Insurance Benefits. I have
jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to review the
Administrative Law Judge's (“ALJ) decision. For the
reasons stated below, I AFFIRM the ALJ's decision.
Stanley filed her application for Title II Disability
Insurance Benefits to the Commissioner on August 1, 2012,
alleging a disability onset date of August 1, 2002. The claim
was initially denied on January 31, 2013, and again upon
reconsideration on May 29, 2013. Ms. Stanley then filed a
timely request on August 2, 2013, for a hearing to review the
Commissioner's decision. An ALJ held a hearing on
February 10, 2014, after which Ms. Stanley amended her
alleged onset date to May 4, 2012. The ALJ subsequently
issued a decision on April 21, 2014, which denied Ms.
Stanley's claim for Disability Insurance Benefits on the
basis that she was not disabled, as defined by the Social
Security Act, during the period of May 4, 2012 to June 30,
made his decision based upon the five-step sequential
evaluation process established by the Secretary of Health and
Human Services. See Bowen v. Yuckert, 482 U.S. 137,
140-42 (1987); 20 C.F.R. § 416.920 (establishing the
five-step evaluative process for SSI claims).
One, the ALJ determined that Ms. Stanley did not engage in
substantial gainful activity during the period from her
amended alleged onset date of May 4, 2012, through her date
last insured of June 30, 2012.
Two, the ALJ determined that Ms. Stanley had the following
severe impairments: history of acute myocardial infarction,
obesity, bradycardia/hypotension, and recurrent angina.
Three, the ALJ determined that, as of her date last insured,
Ms. Stanley did not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of a
listed impairment under 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P.
the ALJ determined that Ms. Stanley had the residual
functional capacity to perform medium work, with the
restrictions that she could not climb ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds more than occasionally and that she could not climb
ramps, or stairs more than frequently.
Four, the ALJ determined that Ms. Stanley did not have past
at Step Five, the ALJ determined that, given Ms.
Stanley's age, education, work experience, and residual
functional capacity, jobs existed in significant numbers in
the national economy that she could have performed as of her
date last insured. Specifically, the Vocational Expert
testified that Ms. Stanley could work as a cleaner, laundry
worker, or hand packager. Therefore, she was not disabled, as
defined by the Social Security Act, at any time through her
date last insured.
review the ALJ's decision to ensure the ALJ applied
proper legal standards and that the ALJ's findings are
supported by substantial evidence in the record. 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g); Bray v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec.
Admin., 554 F.3d 1219, 1222 (9th Cir. 2009) (explaining
that the ALJ's decision must be supported by substantial
evidence and not based on legal error).
“‘Substantial evidence' means more than a
mere scintilla, but less than a preponderance; it is such
relevant evidence as a reasonable person might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.” Lingenfelter v.
Astrue, 504 F.3d 1028, 1035 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting
Robbins v. Soc. Sec. Admin., 466 F.3d 880, 882 (9th
Cir. 2006)). The Commissioner's decision must be upheld
if it is a rational interpretation of the evidence, even if
there are other possible rational interpretations.
Magallanes v. Bowen, 881 F.2d 747, 750 (9th Cir.
1989). The reviewing court may not substitute its judgment
for that of the Commissioner. Robbins, 466 F.3d at
Stanley argues the ALJ erred as a matter of law in denying
her claim for disability benefits because his decision is not
supported by substantial evidence in the record.
Specifically, she alleges the ALJ failed to (1) give adequate
weight to the opinion of her treating physician, (2)
adequately assess her credibility, (3) adequately determine
her residual functional capacity based on limitations from
all of her impairments, and (4) meet his burden at Step Five
of showing there are a significant number of jobs in the
national economy that she could perform. Despite these
arguments, I find that the ALJ's decision is supported by
substantial evidence in the record.
The ALJ's Treatment of the Treating Physician's
Stanley argues that the ALJ erred as a matter of law by
failing to give adequate weight to the opinion of her
treating physician, Dr. Oelke, who completed a medical
impairment questionnaire for this claim. Specifically, Ms.
Stanley argues the ALJ erred by failing to give specific and