United States District Court, D. Oregon
OPINION AND ORDER
Michael J. McShane, United States District Judge.
Heidi Rose brings this action for judicial review of a final
decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying her
application for disability insurance benefits (DIB) under
Title II of the Social Security Act and Supplemental Security
Income (SSI). The Court has jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g) and 1383(c). Because the
Commissioner's decision is based on proper legal
standards and supported by substantial evidence, the
Commissioner's decision is AFFIRMED.
AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
filed an application for Title II disability insurance
benefits on June 12 2014, and also protectively filed a Title
XVI application for supplemental security income on December
5, 2014. Both applications allege disability beginning
February 10, 2014. Tr. 10. The claim was denied initially on
November 5, 2014, and upon reconsideration on February 10,
2015. Id. Upon claimant's request, a hearing was
held on August 3, 2015, and on August 11, 2015 the ALJ issued
a decision denying plaintiff. Tr. 23. The Appeals Council
denied the request for review on making the ALJ's
decision the final decision of the Commissioner. Tr. 1. This
reviewing court shall affirm the Commissioner's decision
if the decision is based on proper legal standards and the
legal findings are supported by substantial evidence on the
record. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Batson v. Comm'r for
Soc. Sec. Admin., 359 F.3d 1190, 1193 (9th Cir. 2004).
“Substantial evidence is ‘more than a mere
scintilla but less than a preponderance; it is such relevant
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion.'” Hill v. Astrue,
698 F.3d 1153, 1159 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting Sandgathe v.
Chater, 108 F.3d 978, 980 (9th Cir. 1997)). To determine
whether substantial evidence exists, this Court reviews the
administrative record as a whole, weighing both the evidence
that supports and that which detracts from the ALJ's
conclusion. Martinez v. Heckler, 807 F.2d 771, 772
(9th Cir. 1986).
Commissioner's findings are upheld if supported by
inferences reasonably drawn from the record; if evidence
exists to support more than one rational interpretation, the
court must defer to the Commissioner's decision.
Batson, 359 F.3d at 1193; Aukland v.
Massanari, 257 F.3d 1033, 1034-35 (9th Cir. 2000) (when
evidence can rationally be interpreted in more than one way,
the court must uphold the Commissioner's decision). A
reviewing court, however, “cannot affirm the
Commissioner's decision on a ground that the
Administration did not invoke in making its decision.”
Stout v. Comm'r Soc. Sec. Admin., 454 F.3d 1050,
1054 (9th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted). A court may not
reverse an ALJ's decision on account of an error that is
harmless. Id. at 1055-56. “[T]he burden of
showing that an error is harmful normally falls upon the
party attacking the agency's determination.”
Shinseki v. Sanders, 556 U.S. 396, 409 (2009).
need not discuss all evidence presented, but must explain why
significant probative evidence has been rejected. Stark
v. Shalala, 886 F.Supp. 733, 735 (D. Or. 1995). See
also Howard ex rel. Wolff v. Barnhart, 341 F.3d 1006,
1012 (9th Cir. 2003) (in interpreting the evidence and
developing the record, the ALJ need not discuss every piece
Social Security Administration uses a five step sequential
evaluation to determine whether a claimant is disabled. 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1520; 416.920. The initial burden of
proof rests upon the claimant to meet the first four steps.
If claimant satisfies his or her burden with respect to the
first four steps, the burden shifts to the Commissioner at
step five. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520. At step five, the
Commissioner's burden is to demonstrate the claimant is
capable of making an adjustment to other work after
considering the claimant's residual functional capacity,
age, education, and work experience. Id.
the ALJ found at step one of the sequential analysis that
Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity
(SGA) since the alleged onset date of disability of February
10, 2014. Tr. 12. At step two, the ALJ found Plaintiff
suffered from two severe impairments: bowel incontinence and
depression. Id. At step three, the ALJ found that
none of Plaintiff's impairments, alone or in combination,
met or medically equaled one of the listed impairments in 20
C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
four, the ALJ found that Plaintiff has the residual
functional capacity to perform work at all exertional levels
but with the following non exertional limitations:
“the individual would be limited to occasionally
climbing ramps and stairs; occasionally climbing ladders and
scaffolds; balancing would be limited to the frequent level;
stopping, crouching, and crawling would be limited to the
occasional level; the individual would be limited to simple
tasks, and making simple work related decisions, and the
individual would be limited to tolerating few changes in a
routine work environment, equating to repetitive tasks day to
day, whether working by herself or with coworkers would
require the same sort of environment without variability as
to working with different coworkers day-today; the ...