United States District Court, D. Oregon
E. HAAPALA, JR. Attorney for Plaintiff
J. WILLIAMS United States Attorney
GOWIE Assistant United States Attorney
MICHAEL W. PILE Acting Regional Chief Counsel
GOLDOFTAS Special Assistant United States Attorney
OPINION AND ORDER
J. BROWN UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
Jason Veach seeks judicial review of the final decision of
the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA)
in which the Commissioner denied Plaintiff'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.
reasons that follow, the Court REVERSES the
decision of the Commissioner and REMANDS
this matter for further proceedings.
protectively filed his initial application for DIB benefits
on December 14, 2012. Tr. 31, 187. Plaintiff alleged a
disability onset date of February 2, 2012. Plaintiff's
application was denied initially and on reconsideration. An
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) held a hearing on February 6,
2015. Tr. 51-77. Plaintiff and a vocational expert (VE)
testified. Plaintiff was represented by an attorney at the
22, 2015, the ALJ issued an opinion in which he found
Plaintiff is not disabled and, therefore, is not entitled to
benefits. Tr. 31-45.
24, 2015, Plaintiff requested review by the Appeals Council.
September 16, 2016, the Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request to review the ALJ's decision, and
the ALJ's decision became the final decision of the
Commissioner. Tr. 11-14. See Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S.
103, 106-07 (2000).
November 3, 2016, Plaintiff requested an extension of time to
file a civil action.
March 2, 2017, the Appeals Council extended the time to file
a civil action for 30 days. Tr. 1-2.
March 31, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in this Court
seeking review of the Commissioner's decision.
was born on January 24, 1979. Tr. 43. Plaintiff was 36 years
old at the time of the hearing. Plaintiff has a high-school
education and two years of college. Tr. 72. The ALJ found
Plaintiff has past relevant work as a computer sales
representative. Tr. 43.
alleges disability due to a right-knee injury, ruptures in
his neck, degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine with
disc herniation, ...