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Parrish v. Berryhill

United States District Court, D. Oregon

December 7, 2017

TERRY LEE PARRISH, legal representative for the estate of Dana Michael Parrish, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, [1] Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          NANCY J. MESEROW Attorney for Plaintiff

          BILLY J. WILLIAMS United States Attorney RENATA GOWIE Assistant United States Attorney

          DAVID MORADO Regional Chief Counsel MICHAEL S. HOWARD Special Assistant United States Attorney Social Security Administration Attorneys for Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          ANNA J. BROWN, UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, Terry Lee Parrish, [2] seeks judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA) in which she denied Claimant Dana Michael Parrish's application for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) under Title 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).

         For the reasons that follow, the Court REVERSES the decision of the Commissioner and REMANDS this matter to the Commissioner for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion and Order.

         ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

         Claimant protectively filed his application for DIB on January 24, 2013. Tr. 148.[3] Claimant alleged a disability onset date of February 2, 2011. Tr. 148. Claimant's application was denied initially and on reconsideration. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) held a hearing on October 9, 2014, at which Claimant failed to appear. Tr. 39-56. Claimant's counsel attended and participated in the hearing. Despite Claimant's failure to appear at the hearing, the ALJ proceeded to hear testimony from a vocational expert (VE). The ALJ subsequently sent to Claimant (but not to Claimant's attorney) a Request to Show Cause for Failure to Appear. Tr. 146. Claimant did not respond. Tr. 21.

         On April 24, 2015, the ALJ issued an opinion in which she found Claimant is not disabled and, therefore, is not entitled to benefits. Tr. 21-34. On October 3, 2016, the Appeals Council denied Claimant's request to review the ALJ's decision, and the ALJ's decision became the final decision of the Commissioner. Tr. 1-3. See Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, 106-07 (2000).

         On November 30, 2016, Claimant filed a Complaint in this Court seeking review of the Commissioner's decision.

         BACKGROUND

         Claimant was born on July 11, 1962. Tr. 148. Claimant was 52 years old at the time of the hearing. Claimant has a 12th- grade education. Tr. 160. The ALJ found Claimant has past relevant work experience as a telephone solicitor, mail sorter, shuttle-bus driver, sales clerk, security guard, and bookkeeping clerk. Tr. 31, 46-67.

         Claimant alleged disability due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociative disorder, and high blood pressure. Tr. 159.

         Except as noted, Claimant does not challenge the ALJ's summary of the medical evidence. See Tr. 24-31. After carefully reviewing the medical records, this Court ...


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