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Taylor v. Commissioner, Social Security Administration

United States District Court, D. Oregon

November 6, 2018

LEOTHA T., [1] Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.

          MERRILL SCHNEIDER Schneider Kerr & Robichaux Attorneys for Plaintiff

          BILLY J. WILLIAMS United States Attorney RENATA GOWIE Assistant United States Attorney MICHAEL W. PILE Acting Regional Chief Counsel JORDAN D. GODDARD Special Assistant United States Attorney Social Security Administration Attorneys for Defendant

          OPINION AND ORDER

          ANNA J. BROWN UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Leotha T., Jr., 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 D.S.C. § 405(g).

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

         ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

         I. Prior Administrative History

         Plaintiff protectively filed his application for SSI benefits on October 3, 2012. Tr. 16, 307.[2] Plaintiff alleges a disability onset date of December 31, 2002. Tr. 16, 282. Plaintiff s application was denied initially and on reconsideration. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) held a hearing on October 24, 2014. Tr. 16, 76-98. Plaintiff and a vocational expert (VE) testified. Plaintiff was represented by an attorney at the hearing.

         On December 5, 2014, the ALJ issued an opinion in which he found Plaintiff is not disabled and, therefore, is not entitled to benefits. Tr. 134-44. Plaintiff requested review by the Appeals Council. On June 14, 2016, the Appeals Council vacated the ALJ's decision and remanded the case for further proceedings. Tr. 149-53.

         On December 1, 2016, the ALJ held a hearing on remand. Tr. 34-75. Plaintiff and a vocational expert (VE) testified. Plaintiff was represented by an attorney at the hearing.

         On January 9, 2017, the ALJ issued an opinion in which he again found Plaintiff is not disabled and, therefore, is not entitled to benefits. Tr. 16-28. Plaintiff requested further review by the Appeals Council. On September 13, 2017, 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. 1-3. See Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, 106-07 (2000).

         On November 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in this Court for review of the Commissioner's decision.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff was born on June 6, 1963. Tr. 26. Plaintiff was forty-nine years old on the date his application was protectively filed. Although Plaintiff's educational background is unclear, the record reflects he has at least a high-school education. Tr. 26. The ALJ found Plaintiff does not have any past relevant work experience. Tr. 26.

         Plaintiff alleges disability due to "back, numbness in both arms, right foot broken bone pain." Tr. 311.

         Except as noted, Plaintiff does not challenge the ALJ's summary of the medical evidence. After carefully reviewing the medical records, this Court adopts the ...


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