United States District Court, D. Oregon
MICHAEL PATRICK CALLAWAY Plaintiff, Pro Se
J. WILLIAMS United States Attorney JANICE E. HEBERT Assistant
United States Attorney
MORADO Regional Chief Counsel HEATHER L. GRIFFITH Special
Assistant United States Attorney Social Security
Administration Attorneys for Defendant
AMENDED OPINION AND ORDER
J. BROWN United States District Judge
Michael Patrick Callaway seeks judicial review of a final
decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration (SSA) in which she denied Plaintiff's
applications for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and
Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) under Titles XVI and II
of the Social Security Act. This Court has jurisdiction to
review the Commissioner's final decision pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 405(g).
reasons that follow, the Court AFFIRMS the decision of the
Commissioner and DISMISSES this matter.
filed his applications for DIB and SSI on November 1, 2010.
Tr. 191, 198. Plaintiff alleged a disability onset date
of June 1, 2009. His applications were denied initially and
on reconsideration. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) held a
hearing on August 23, 2012. Tr. 33-80. At the hearing
Plaintiff was represented by an attorney. Plaintiff, a lay
witness, and a vocational expert (VE) testified at the
issued a decision on September 21, 2012, in which he found
Plaintiff is not disabled and, therefore, is not entitled to
benefits. Tr. 36-51. Pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 404.984(d)
that decision became the final decision of the Commissioner
on September 3, 2015, when the Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review. Tr. 3-6. See Sims v.
Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, 106-07 (2000).
was born on July 3, 1985, and was 27 years old at the time of
the hearing. Tr. 191. Plaintiff has an Associates Degree and,
at the time of the hearing, was taking classes towards a
Masters Degree in architecture. Tr. 38-41. Plaintiff has past
relevant work experience as a construction worker, janitor,
and landscape crew member. Tr. 240, 258. Plaintiff alleges
disability due to fibromyalgia, neuropathy, arthritis,
migraines, herniated discs, muscle spasms, “trigger
finger, ” and carpal-tunnel syndrome. Tr. 234.
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. 19-21, 23-25.
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 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
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.
The Regulatory ...