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Janet K. v. Commissioner Social Security Administration

United States District Court, D. Oregon

December 20, 2018

JANET K., Plaintiff,
v.
Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          THOMAS M. COFFIN UNITED STATERS MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff brings this proceeding to obtain judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision denying plaintiff's application for Disability Insurance Benefits.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         This case has been before this court before. Plaintiff submitted evidence to this court that defendant conceded was new and material. This court remanded the matter for consideration of the new and material evidence. The ALJ had a new hearing where plaintiff, through her attorney, amended her alleged onset date to November 30, 2005. The ALJ issued a new decision finding plaintiff not disabled.

         Although plaintiff was represented at her first hearing, and was represented in her second hearing, she appears pro se in this appeal of that second hearing.

         As discussed in more detail below, she makes several arguments in her opening brief. Defendant addressed all of these in a brief and persuasively demonstrated that the period in question in the present appeal is 31 days-. Plaintiff did not file an optional reply brief.

         DISCUSSION

         1. Plaintiff's Subjective Complaints

         Defendant has persuasively demonstrated that the ALJ appropriately considered plaintiff's subjective complaints, compared them to the evidence of record, and gave legally sufficient reasons for discounting them. Plaintiff's degree of medical care during the alleged period of disability, lack of significant ongoing complaints leading up to the alleged period of disability, and contradictory statements about symptoms like diarrhea were clear and convincing reasons for finding that her complaints about her symptoms from November 30, 2005 through December 31, 2005 were not reliable. It is also noteworthy that plaintiff states in her Brief:

I admit I have not been a model patient. If a doctor had given me a medication that caused bad side effects, I stopped mentioning those symptoms. If a Physical Therapist was causing me additional pain, I told them what they wanted to hear so I could get away from them. This may not have been - the best policy, but at the time it was my only recourse. I also failed to inform my past doctors of all my symptoms.

P.p. 3-4, Plaintiff's Brief (#39). Plaintiff also states with regard to the physical therapist "I admit I lied to her about my pain levels decreasing so that I could get away from her. She was not helping my hip pain at all." Id. at p. 19.

         2. The Medical Opinions

         Defendant has persuasively demonstrated in great detail that the ALJ appropriately resolved the conflicts in the medical opinion evidence and gave the greatest weight to the opinions of the non-examining State agency medical consultants because their opinions were the most consistent with the relevant treatment records.

         3. The Consideration of All of Plaintiffs ...


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