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.

Betty J. V. v. Commissioner Social Security Administration

United States District Court, D. Oregon

May 31, 2018

BETTY J. V., [1] Plaintiff,
v.
Commissioner, Social Security Administration, [2] Defendant.

          JOHN E. HAAPALA, JR. Attorney for Plaintiff.

          BILLY J. WILLIAMS United States Attorney RENATA GOWIE Assistant United States Attorney MICHAEL W. PILE Acting Regional Chief Counsel SARAH ELIZABETH MOUM Social Security Administration Office of the General Counsel Attorneys for Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          ANNA J. BROWN UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Betty J. V. seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA) in which she denied Plaintiff's applications for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) under Titles XVI and II of the Social Security Act.

         For the reasons that follow, the Court AFFIRMS the decision of the Commissioner and DISMISSES this matter.

         ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

         Plaintiff filed her application for DIB on May 21, 2012, and her application for SSI on June 13, 2012. Tr. 269, 283.[3]Plaintiff alleged a disability onset date of March 1, 2005. Her applications were denied initially and on reconsideration. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) held a hearing on March 27, 2014. Tr. 42-65. At the hearing Plaintiff amended her onset date to October 1, 2009. Tr. 46. Plaintiff and a vocational expert (VE) testified. Plaintiff was represented by an attorney.

         On April 11, 2014, the ALJ issued an opinion in which he found Plaintiff is not disabled and, therefore, is not entitled to benefits. Tr. 119-36.

         On September 25, 2015, the Appeals Council entered an order in which it remanded the matter to the ALJ and directed the ALJ to “[o]btain additional evidence concerning [Plaintiff's] anxiety disorder. . . . The additional evidence may include . . . a consultative examination and medical source statements about what [Plaintiff] can still do despite the impairments.” Tr. 138-39.

         On March 24, 2016, an ALJ held a hearing on remand regarding additional evidence as to Plaintiff's anxiety disorder. Tr. 856-73. At the hearing Plaintiff was represented by an attorney. Plaintiff and a VE testified. On April 21, 2016, the ALJ issued a decision on remand in which he found Plaintiff is not disabled and, therefore, she is not entitled to benefits. Tr. 7-26. Pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 404.984(d), that decision became the final decision of the Commissioner on April 24, 2017, when the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. Tr. 1-6. See Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, 106-07 (2000).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff was born on July 19, 1953. Tr. 277. Plaintiff was 62 years old at the time of the hearing. Plaintiff has a GED. Tr. 77. Plaintiff has past relevant work experience as a “material expeditor and expeditor.” Tr. 31.

         Plaintiff alleges disability due to depression, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, bipolar disorder, and “history of a stroke.” Tr. 180.

         Except when noted, Plaintiff does not challenge the ALJ's summary of the medical evidence. After carefully reviewing the medical records, this Court adopts the ALJ's summary of the medical evidence. See Tr. 23-24, 27-31.

         STANDARDS

         The initial burden of proof rests on the claimant to establish disability. Molina v. Astrue, 674 F.3d 1104, 1110 (9thCir. 2012). To meet this burden, a claimant must demonstrate her inability "to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which . . . has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months." 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). The ALJ must develop the record when there is ambiguous evidence or when the record is inadequate to allow for proper evaluation of the evidence. McLeod v. Astrue, 640 F.3d 881, 885 (9th Cir. 2011)(quoting Mayes v. Massanari, 276 F.3d 453, 459-60 (9th Cir. 2001)).

         The district court must affirm the Commissioner's decision if it is based on proper legal standards and the findings are supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). See also Brewes v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec. Admin., 682 F.3d 1157, 1161 (9th Cir. 2012). Substantial evidence is “relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Molina, 674 F.3d. at 1110-11 (quoting Valentine v. Comm'r Soc. Sec. Admin., 574 F.3d 685, 690 (9th Cir. 2009)). "It is more than a mere scintilla [of evidence] but less than a preponderance." Id. (citing Valentine, 574 F.3d at 690).

         The ALJ is responsible for determining credibility, resolving conflicts in the medical evidence, and resolving ambiguities. Vasquez v. Astrue, 572 F.3d 586, 591 (9th Cir. 2009). The court must weigh all of the evidence whether it supports or detracts from the Commissioner's decision. Ryan v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 528 F.3d 1194, 1198 (9th Cir. 2008). Even when the evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, the court must uphold the Commissioner's findings if they are supported by inferences reasonably drawn from the record. Ludwig v. Astrue, 681 F.3d 1047, 1051 (9th Cir. 2012). The court may not substitute its judgment for that of the Commissioner. Widmark v. Barnhart, 454 F.3d 1063, 1070 (9th Cir. 2006).

         DISABILITY ...


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.