United States District Court, D. Oregon
FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATION
A. RUSSO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
brings this proceeding to obtain judicial review of the
Commissioner's final decision denying plaintiff's
application for disability insurance benefits and
supplemental security income. Plaintiff asserts disability
beginning October 2, 2011, due to arthritis, asthma, and high
blood pressure. Tr. 102. After a hearing held on May 18,
2016, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) determined plaintiff
was not disabled. Plaintiff argues the ALJ erred by: (1)
improperly rejecting her testimony; (2) improperly rejecting
the opinion of an examining physician; and (3) failing to
obtain a consultative psychological evaluation. For the
reasons stated below, the Commissioner's decision should
be affirmed and this case should be dismissed.
worked primarily as a data entry clerk before a layoff in
August 2011. Tr. 349, 353. Plaintiff asserts she lost jobs
due to her asthma and that her asthma is getting worse. Tr.
testified she can't work:
Because I'm in too much pain. I can't walk, my knees.
I can't even stand for five minutes waiting for the bus.
I spend a lot of time sitting.
I can barely get to the bus stop across the street and
I'm out of breath and I'm in pain.
Tr. 59, 60, 63. Plaintiff also reported that changing
positions from sitting to standing is
“excruciating” and “standing can't be
done.” Tr. 324.
determined plaintiff's residual functional capacity
limited her to sedentary work and to the extent plaintiff
asserted additional limitations that precluded her from work,
the ALJ found plaintiff lacked credibility. Tr. 25-26.
Plaintiff asserts the ALJ erred in rejecting her testimony.
noted plaintiff recently attended community college for more
than a year taking computer and data entry classes. Tr. 25,
47-48. The ALJ found plaintiff's ability to travel to and
from school and attend classes was inconsistent with
plaintiff's asserted limitations. Tr. 26. Although
plaintiff argues attending community college is not
equivalent to working full-time, the ALJ reasonably concluded
that the ability to attend classes contradicted
plaintiff's professed inability to walk, change positions
from sitting to standing, or do more physically than cross a
street. Plaintiff did not testify she had difficulty walking
to her classes and did not otherwise explain how she managed
her symptoms while attending classes. The ALJ appropriately
determined that plaintiff's community college attendance
provided a clear and convincing reason to discount her
symptom testimony. See Carmickle v. Commissioner,
533. F.3d 1155, 1161 (9th Cir. 2008) (asserted need to
constantly change position inconsistent with college
also noted that Dr. Sue Lewis, after conducting a physical
consultative exam on June 12, 2010,  opined plaintiff could
stand/walk up to half an hour at a time. Tr. 26, 438. This
also undermined plaintiff's alleged limitation regarding
walking and standing. See Bray v. Commissioner of Social
Security, 554 F.3d 1219, 1227 (9th Cir. 2009) (in