United States District Court, D. Oregon
A. RUSSO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
brings this proceeding to obtain judicial review of the
Commissioner's final decision denying plaintiff's
application for disability insurance benefits.
asserts disability beginning January 22, 2013, due to:
bipolar disorder versus schizoaffective disorder, depressive
type, in partial remission; major depressive disorder; panic
disorder with agoraphobia; a history of alcohol and
methamphetamine abuse with mild cannabis use disorder;
asthma; and back pain. Tr. 194, 19, 211.
hearing, an administrative law judge (ALJ) determined
plaintiff was not disabled. Plaintiff asserts the ALJ erred
in rejecting both medical opinion and plaintiff's
testimony in making her determination.
contends the ALJ erred in finding her symptom testimony
inconsistent with the record and, thus, failed to properly
credit her testimony.
indicated on her function report she "can't leave
[her] house for very long at a time and [she gets] very
anxious when talking to people." Tr. 227. Plaintiff also
indicated she can't stay out longer than two hours and
can't have more than two people at her house at a time or
for more than an hour. Tr. 232. She pointed out it is
"[h]ard to talk to people [and she] can't be around
people long or get in depth with them." Id.
Plaintiff testified she can't work because:
Just the thought of going, having to go to a place at a set
time, every day, full of people who are talking to me and
asking me things and expecting things from me, just [is too
much to handle].
rejected plaintiff's description of disabling symptoms
and found plaintiff's statements "concerning the
intensity, persistence and limiting effects of these symptoms
... not entirely consistent with the medical evidence and
other evidence in the record." Tr. 23.
the ALJ determined the longitudinal medical record reflects
general improvement in plaintiff's symptoms during the
period at issue, particularly with medication. Tr. 23. The
ALJ noted that plaintiff was functional on risperdone and
lorazepam. Tr. 24, 26, 351, 356. Moreover, the ALJ stated:
Significantly, aside from the medication management with her
primary care physician, the claimant has had little mental
health treatment. She has not established care with a
psychiatrist. She saw a counselor ... for only several
sessions in 2013 (with a number of no-shows ...) and has not
seen one since then. Although it appears a lack of insurance
has had something to do with the lack of treatment, she has
been informed about resources and does not appear to have
followed up.... Moreover, she last saw her primary care
physician, Dr. Lyon, in June 2015 and has not had treatment
since then. She testified at the supplemental hearing that
she was going to try counseling now that ...