United States District Court, D. Oregon
Merrill Schneider SCHNEIDER KERR & ROBICHAUX Attorney for
J. Williams UNITED STATES ATTORNEY District of Oregon Renata
Gowie ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
L. Martin SPECIAL ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY Office of
the General Counsel Social Security Administration Attorneys
OPINION & ORDER
A. HERNÁNDEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Clayton L. brings this action seeking judicial review of the
Commissioner's final decision to deny disability
insurance benefits (DIB) and supplemental security income
(SSI). This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g) (incorporated by 42 U.S.C. § 1383(c)(3)).
The Court reverses the Commissioner's decision and
remands for immediate payment of benefits.
applied for DIB and SSI on September 6, 2013, alleging
disability as of June 1, 2009. Tr. 19, 155. His application
was denied initially and on reconsideration. Tr. 190-94, 197-
202. On November 19, 2015, Plaintiff appeared, with counsel,
for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Tr.
38. On January 21, 2016, the ALJ found Plaintiff not
disabled. Tr. 31. The Appeals Council denied review. Tr. 1.
alleges disability based on ADD, a kidney disorder, chronic
headaches, PTSD, depression, and a pulmonary embolism. Tr.
280. He was 39 at the time of the administrative hearing. Tr.
39. Defendant has a high school degree and some college with
past relevant work experience as a fast food worker. Tr. 28,
claimant is disabled if unable 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). Disability claims are evaluated according to a
five-step procedure. See, e.g., Valentine v.
Comm'r, 574 F.3d 685, 689 (9th Cir. 2009). The
claimant bears the ultimate burden of proving disability.
first step, the Commissioner determines whether a claimant is
engaged in “substantial gainful activity.” If so,
the claimant is not disabled. Bowen v. Yuckert, 482
U.S. 137, 140 (1987); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(b),
416.920(b). In step two, the Commissioner determines whether
the claimant has a “medically severe impairment or
combination of impairments.” Yuckert, 482 U.S.
137 at 140-41; 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(c),
416.920(c). If not, the claimant is not disabled.
three, the Commissioner determines whether the impairment
meets or equals “one of a number of listed impairments
that the [Commissioner] acknowledges are so severe as to
preclude substantial gainful activity.”
Yuckert, 482 U.S. at 141; 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520(d), 416.920(d). If so, the claimant is conclusively
presumed disabled; if not, the Commissioner proceeds to step
four. Yuckert, 482 U.S. at 141.
four, the Commissioner determines whether the claimant,
despite any impairment(s), has the residual functional
capacity to perform “past relevant work.” 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(e), 416.920(e). If the claimant
can, the claimant is not disabled. If the claimant cannot
perform past relevant work, the burden shifts to the
Commissioner. In step five, the Commissioner must establish
that the claimant can perform other work. Yuckert,
482 U.S. at 141-42; 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(e) &
(f), 416.920(e) & (f). If the Commissioner meets his
burden and proves ...