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Kreg B. v. Commissioner Social Security

United States District Court, D. Oregon

September 10, 2018

KREG B., Plaintiff,
v.
Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATION

          THOMAS M. COFFIN United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff brings this proceeding to obtain judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision denying plaintiff's applications for Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The ALJ found that plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date, May 12, 2012.

         The ALJ found that plaintiff had the following severe impairments: Meniere's disease; diabetes mellitus, type II; hypertension; hyperlipidema; major depressive disorder; unspecified attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); anxiety disorder; panic disorder with agoraphobia; and bilateral hearing loss treated with hearing aids.

         The ALJ found that plaintiff had the residual functional capacity to perform light work, except that he could perform no telephone work. And that he must avoid even moderate exposure to workplace hazards. The ALJ found that plaintiff can understand, remember and carry out simple, routine, repetitive tasks and can have no more than occasional contact with coworkers, and no contact with the general public in a work setting.

         The ALJ found plaintiff was unable to perform his past relevant work, but retained the ability to work as an assembler of small products or a sorter.

         DISCUSSION

         The Commissioner acknowledges numerous reversible errors made by the ALJ including, but not limited to, the mistaken consideration by the ALJ of some evidence that invaded a prior adjudication period. P. 2 of Defendant's Brief and Motion for Remand (#21) .

         The Commissioner concedes that reversal is appropriate, but "takes the position that the case should be remanded for further proceedings, because there are unresolved issues and a finding of disability would be inapposite." P. 2 of Defendant's Brief and Motion for Remand (#21). The Commissioner argues that further proceedings are necessary to clarify the period of adjudication, to reevaluate the opinion of treating psychiatrist Dr. Bonner, and to reassess plaintiff's testimony and lay witness testimony.

         Plaintiff argues for the remand with an immediate award of benefits based on harmful legal errors made with regard to plaintiff's testimony and the opinion of treating psychiatrist Dr. Bonner.

         Dr. Bonner and Dr. Northway

         Treating psychiatrist Dr. Bonner completed a statement that plaintiff had been her patient since July, 2014. Her diagnosis was unspecified anxiety disorder, and persistent depressive disorder. Clinical findings included anxiety and agoraphobia. Plaintiff was afraid of people, could not work with the public or closely with. others, and could not work in a crowd. He was afraid to leave home and would be absent more than two days per month. Dr. Bonner submitted a Mental Residual Functional Capacity Report in which she indicated that plaintiff was "markedly limnited" in his ability to maintain attention and concentration for extended periods; perform activities within a schedule and maintain regular attendance; and sustain an ordinary routine without ...


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