United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
OPINION AND ORDER
V. ACOSTA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Hauth ("plaintiff) seeks judicial review of a final
decision by the Commissioner of Social Security
("Commissioner") denying her application for Title
XVI Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under the
Social Security Act ("Act"). Because the
Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial
evidence, his decision is AFFIRMED and this case DISMISSED.
protectively filed her application for SSI on October 25,
2012, alleging disability asof January 20, 2012. (Tr.
145-51.) The Commissioner denied her application
initially and upon reconsideration, and she requested a
hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ").
(Tr. 88-91, 94-95, 100-02.) An administrative hearing was
held on December 17, 2014. (Tr. 15-31.) After the hearing,
the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on January 14, 2015,
finding plaintiff not disabled. (Tr. 18-27.) The Appeals
Council denied plaintiffs subsequent request for review,
making the ALJ's decision final. (Tr. 1-4.)
December 3, 1965, plaintiff was 46 years old on the alleged
onset date of disability and 49 years old at the time of the
hearing. (Tr. 143, 145.) She speaks English, completed the
eleventh grade, and attended special education classes. (Tr.
162, 164.) Plaintiff alleges disability due to fibromyalgia,
scoliosis, kidney infections, and bladder infections. (Tr.
64, 72, 163, )
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. Hammock
v. Bowen, 879 F.2d 498, 501 (9th Cir. 1989). Substantial
evidence is "more than a mere scintilla. It means such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion." Richardson v.
Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971) (citation and internal
quotations omitted). The court must weigh "both the
evidence that supports and detracts from the
[Commissioner's] conclusions." Martinez v.
Heckler, 807 F.2d 771, 772 (9th Cir. 1986). "Where
the evidence as a whole can support either a grant or a
denial, [the court] may not substitute [its] judgment for the
ALJ's." Massachi v. Astrue, 486 F.3d 1149,
1152 (9th Cir. 2007) (citation omitted).
initial burden of proof rests upon the claimant to establish
disability. Howard v. Heckler, 782 F.2d 1484, 1486
(9th Cir. 1986). To meet this burden, the claimant must
demonstrate an "inability to engage in any substantial
gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable
physical or mental impairment which can be expected ... to
last for a continuous period of not less than 12
months." 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A).
Commissioner has established a five-step sequential process
for determining whether a person is disabled. Bowen v.
Yuckert, 482 U.S. 137, 140 (1987); 20 C.F.R. §
416.920. First, the Commissioner determines whether
a claimant is engaged in "substantial gainful
activity." Yuckert, 482 U.S. at 140; 20 C.F.R,
§ 416.920(b). If so, the claimant is not disabled.
two, the Commissioner evaluates whether the claimant has a
"medically severe impairment or combination of
impairments." Yuckert, 482 U.S. at 140-41; 20
C.F.R. § 416.920(c). If the claimant does not have a
medically determinable, severe impairment, he is not
three, the Commissioner determines whether the claimant's
impairments, either singly or in combination, meet or equal
"one of a number of listed impairments that the
[Commissioner] acknowledges are so severe as to preclude
substantial gainful activity." Yuckert, 482
U.S. at 140-41; 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(d). If so, the
claimant is presumptively disabled; if not, the Commissioner
proceeds to step four. Yuckert, 482 U.S. at 141.
four, the Commissioner resolves whether the claimant can
still perform "past relevant work." 20 C.F.R.
§ 416.920(f). If the claimant can work, he is not
disabled; if he cannot perform past relevant work, the burden
shifts to the Commissioner, At step five, the Commissioner
must establish that the claimant can perform other work
existing in significant numbers in the national or local
economy. Yuckert, 482 U.S. at 141-42; 20 C.F.R.
§ 416.920(g). If the Commissioner meets this burden, the
claimant is not disabled. 20 C.F.R. § 416.966.
performed the sequential analysis. At step one of the
five-step process outlined above, the ALJ found that
plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity
since October 25, 2012, the application date, (Tr, 20.) At
step two, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff had the following
severe impairments: chronic cystitis,  status post
transurethral fulguration, and chronic back pain. (Tr.
20-21.) At step three, the ALJ determined that plaintiff did
not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met
or medically equaled a listed impairment. (Tr. 21.)
next assessed plaintiffs residual functional capacity
("RFC") and found that plaintiff has the RFC to
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b), except:
she is limited to standing and walking two to four hours
total of eight; sitting without specific limitations; she may
lift and carry up to twenty pounds occasionally and ten
pounds frequently; and ...