Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Brown v. Berryhill

United States District Court, D. Oregon

March 7, 2018

BRENDA LORRAINE BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, [1] Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          Merrill Schneider Schneider Kerr & Robichaux Attorney for Plaintiff.

          Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney Renata A. Gowie, Assistant United States Attorney Erin F. Highland Special Assistant United States Attorney Office of the General Counsel Social Security Administration Attorneys for Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

          John Jelderks United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff Brenda Lorraine Brown (Plaintiff) brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c) seeking judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (the Commissioner) denying her application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under the Social Security Act (the Act). For the reasons that follow, the Commissioner's decision should be AFFIRMED.

         Procedural Background

         Plaintiff protectively filed her application for SSI on November 20, 2008, alleging disability beginning July 1, 2002. Tr. 871. The Commissioner denied her application initially and on reconsideration. Plaintiff appeared at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and appeared at a subsequent supplemental hearing. Tr. 80. The ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on June 7, 2011. Tr. 111. Plaintiff appealed, and the Appeals Council remanded the decision to the ALJ for further proceedings. Tr. 118. Plaintiff appeared at a hearing on January 2, 2013, and the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on January 23, 2013. Tr. 30, 42. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, and Plaintiff appealed the Commissioner's final decision to the District Court. Tr. 1-3. The District Court reversed and remanded the case for further consideration. Tr. 1038. Pursuant to the remand order, the Appeals Council ordered the ALJ to conduct new physical and mental examinations, and conduct a hearing. Tr. 1042-45. ALJ Joanne Dantonio held a hearing on April 18, 2016. Tr. 953. Plaintiff was represented by counsel and testified. Tr. 953-988. A subsequent hearing took place on August 10, 2016, before ALJ Joanne Dantonio. Tr. 898. Plaintiff and Leta Berkshire, a vocational expert (VE), testified. Tr. 898-952. Plaintiff was represented by counsel. In a decision dated November 7, 2016, the ALJ found Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Act. Tr. 871-885. Plaintiff now timely appeals the Commissioner's final decision.

         Factual Background

         Plaintiff was born in 1971 and was 36 years old on the date she alleges she became disabled. Tr. 872, 902. She dropped out of school in tenth grade but earned her GED at the age of 17. Tr. 486. She has worked as a fundraiser, agricultural sorter, inventory clerk, quality control technician, potato chip fryer, and hand packager. Tr. 883.

         Disability Analysis

         The ALJ engages in a five-step sequential inquiry to determine whether a claimant is disabled within the meaning of the Act. 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(a). The five step sequential inquiry is summarized below, as described in Tackett v. Apfel, 180 F.3d 1094, 1098-99 (9th Cir. 1999).

         Step One. The Commissioner determines whether the claimant is engaged in substantial gainful activity. A claimant who is engaged in such activity is not disabled. If the claimant is not engaged in substantial gainful activity, the Commissioner proceeds to evaluate the claimant's case under Step Two. 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(b).

         Step Two. The Commissioner determines whether the claimant has one or more severe impairments. A claimant who does not have any such impairment is not disabled. If the claimant has one or more severe impairment(s), the Commissioner proceeds to evaluate the claimant's case under Step Three. 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(c).

         Step Three. Disability cannot be based solely on a severe impairment; therefore, the Commissioner next determines whether the claimant's impairment “meets or equals” one of the presumptively disabling impairments listed in the Social Security Administration (SSA) regulations, 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. A claimant who has an impairment that meets a listing is presumed disabled under the Act. If the claimant's impairment does not meet or equal an impairment in the listings, the Commissioner's evaluation of the claimant's case proceeds under Step Four. 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(d).

         Step Four. The Commissioner determines whether the claimant is able to perform work he or she has done in the past. A claimant who can perform past relevant work is not disabled. If the claimant demonstrates he or she cannot do past relevant work, the Commissioner's evaluation of claimant's case proceeds under Step Five. 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(e), (f).

         Step Five. The Commissioner determines whether the claimant is able to do any other work. A claimant who cannot perform other work is disabled. If the Commissioner finds claimant is able to do other work, the Commissioner must show that a significant number of jobs exist in the national economy that claimant is able to do. The Commissioner may satisfy this burden through the testimony of a vocational expert (VE), or by reference to the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2. If the Commissioner demonstrates that a significant number of jobs exist in the national economy ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.