United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. JONES SENIOR JUDGE
Rachel Drake appeals the Commissioner's decision denying
her application for disability insurance benefits under Title
II of the Social Security Act. This Court has jurisdiction
under 42 U.S.C, § 405(g). I AFFIRM the
filed a previous claim alleging disability due to
trochanteric bursitis, migraines, back strain, left shoulder
pain, and left wrist pain. Admin R. 76. In a decision dated
October 6, 2011, the Commissioner determined that Drake was
not disabled up to and including that date. Admin. R. 68-80.
In her present claim, Drake alleges disability due to the
combined effects of fibromyalgia, migraines, arthritis in the
wrist, tendinitis in the left shoulder, bursitis in the right
hip, rapid heart rate, depression, and anxiety. Admin. R.
215. Drake's insured status under the Social Security Act
expired on September 30, 2013. Admin. R. 11. She must
establish that she became disabled on or before that date to
prevail on her claim. 42 U.S.C. § 423(a)(1)(A).
Tidwell v. Apfel, 161 F.3d 599, 601 (9th Cir. 1998).
Accordingly, the relevant period for her present claim runs
from October 6, 2011, through September 30, 2013.
applied the five-step disability determination process
described in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520. See Bowenv.
Yuckert, 482 U.S. 137, 140(1987). Admin. R. 14-21. The
ALJ found that, during the relevant period, Drake's
ability to perform basic work activities was limited by
fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis of the left wrist, trochanteric
bursitis, depressive disorder, and somatic symptom disorder.
Admin. R. 14. He found that, despite these impairments, Drake
retained the residual functional capacity ("RFC")
to perform sedentaiy work with limited climbing, pushing and
pulling, reaching, handling, fingering, and postural
activities such as kneeling, crouching and so forth. The ALJ
also found that Drake required certain environmental
limitations and could only perform simple, routine,
repetitive tasks consistent with unskilled work. Admin. R.
vocational expert ("VE") testified that a person
with Drake's vocational factors and RFC could perform the
activities required for a number of sedentary, entry level
occupations, such as document preparer, telephone information
clerk, and addressor clerk, which together represent over two
hundred thousand jobs in the national economy. Admin. R. 20,
54-55, 63. The ALJ concluded that Drake had failed to show
that she was disabled within the meaning of the Social
Security Act during the period that is relevant for her
claim. Admin. R. 21.
district court must affirm the Commissioner's decision if
it is based on proper legal standards and the findings of
fact are supported by substantial evidence in the record as a
whole. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Batson v. Comm'r of
Soc. Sec. Admin., 359 F.3d 1190, 1193 (9th Cir. 2004).
Substantial evidence may be less than a preponderance; it is
such relevant evidence that a reasonable person might accept
as adequate to support a conclusion. Robbins v. Soc. Sec.
Admin., 466 F.3d 880 (9th Cir. 2006). The
Commissioner's factual findings must be upheld if
supported by inferences reasonably drawn from the record,
even if evidence exists to support another rational
interpretation. Batson, 359 F.3d at 1193;
Andrews v. Shalala, 53 F.3d 1035, 1039-40 (9th Cir.
plaintiff bears the burden of showing that the ALJ erred and
that any error was harmful. McLeod v. Astrue, 640
F.3d 881, 886-87 (9th Cir. 2011). Drake contends the ALJ
failed to properly identify her severe impairments,
improperly determined that her impairments did not equal a
presumptively disabling condition listed in the regulations,
and failed to accurately assess her RFC by improperly
discounting her subjective allegations, the opinion of John
Benson, Psy.D., and the lay witness statement of Nancy Drake.
Drake also challenges the VE's testimony.
contends the ALJ failed to properly identify her severe
impairments at step two of the disability determination
process. Step two of the disability determination process is
a de minimus severity requirement. For a claim to
proceed beyond step two, a claimant must show that she has
some impairment that has more than a minimal adverse impact
on her ability to perform basic work activities. Here, the
ALJ resolved step two in Drake's favor and continued to
the remaining steps of the regulatory process. Accordingly,
Drake has not alleged a harmful error at step two. Buck
v. Berryhill, 869 F.3d 1040, 1048-1049 (9th Cir. 2017).