United States District Court, D. Oregon
W. BREWER Law Offices of Bruce W. Brewer, PC Attorney for
J. WILLIAMS United States Attorney RENATA GOWIE Assistant
United States Attorney MICHAEL W. PILE Acting Regional Chief
Counsel JEFFREY R. McCLAIN Special Assistant United States
Attorney Social Security Administration Attorneys for
OPINION AND ORDER
J. BROWN, UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
Jacob E. 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
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title XVI 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 AFFIRMS the
decision of the Commissioner and DISMISSES
Prior Administrative History
protectively filed his application for SSI benefits on
November 7, 2011. Tr. 15. Plaintiff alleges a disability
onset date of June 1, 2004. Tr. 15, 544. Plaintiff's
application was denied initially and on reconsideration. An
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) held a hearing on November 27,
2013. Tr. 15, 32-76. Plaintiff and a vocational expert (VE)
testified. Plaintiff was represented by an attorney at the
December 12, 2013, the ALJ issued an opinion in which he
found Plaintiff is not disabled and, therefore, is not
entitled to benefits. Tr. 15-26. Plaintiff requested review
by the Appeals Council. On May 15, 2015, 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. 1-6. See Sims v.
Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, 106-07 (2000).
7, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in this Court for review
of the Commissioner's decision. Tr. 612. That case was
assigned to the Honorable Ann L. Aiken.
September 22, 2016, the parties filed a Stipulated Motion for
Remand and agreed the court should reverse the decision of
the ALJ, remand this matter pursuant to Sentence Four of 42
U.S.C. § 405(g), and allow a further hearing on
October 3, 2016, Judge Aiken issued an Order (Tr. 616) for
Remand, entered a Judgment (Tr. 619), and remanded this case
for a de novo hearing.
Current Administrative History
December 19, 2016, following remand by this Court, the
Appeals Council vacated the decision of the Commissioner and
remanded this case to an ALJ for further proceedings. Tr.
2, 2017, a different ALJ held further proceedings on
Plaintiff's application. Tr. 544, 564-86. Plaintiff and a
VE testified. Plaintiff was represented by an attorney at the
5, 2017, the ALJ issued an opinion in which he found
Plaintiff is not disabled and, therefore, is not entitled to
benefits. Tr. 544-47.
did not file exceptions to the ALJ's decision, and,
therefore, the Appeals Council did not assume jurisdiction.
20 C.F.R. § 404.984(b) and (c). The decision of the ALJ
became the final decision of the Commissioner on September 5,
2017. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.984(d).
November 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in this Court
for review of the Commissioner's decision.
was born on June 3, 1979. Tr. 556. Plaintiff was thirty-eight
years old at the time of the last hearing in July 2017.
Plaintiff has at least a high-school education. Tr. 556. The
ALJ found Plaintiff does not have any past relevant work
experience. Tr. 556.
initial application Plaintiff alleges disability due to
“marginal intellectual functioning, epilepsy,
depression, and dyslexia.” Tr. 78.
as 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. 549-55.
initial burden of proof rests on the claimant to establish
disability. Molina v. Astrue, 674 F.3d 1104, 1110
(9th Cir. 2012). To meet this burden, a claimant must
demonstrate his 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 ...