United States District Court, D. Oregon
J. WALL, Attorney for Plaintiff.
J. WILLIAMS United States Attorney RENATA GOWIE Assistant
United States Attorney MICHAEL W. PILE Acting Regional Chief
Counsel HEATHER L. GRIFFITH Special Assistant United States
Attorney Social Security Administration Attorneys for
OPINION AND ORDER
J. BROWN, UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
Bradd M. seeks judicial review of the final decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA) in
which the Commissioner denied Plaintiff's applications
for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) under Title II of the
Social Security Act and 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. § 405(g).
reasons that follow, the Court AFFIRMS the
decision of the Commissioner and DISMISSES
filed applications for DIB and SSI on July 1, 2014, alleging
a disability onset date of May 21, 2011. Tr.
263-64. The applications were denied initially and
on reconsideration. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) held a
hearing on March 8, 2017, and a supplemental hearing on June
1, 2017. Tr. 34-56, 57-86. At the first hearing Plaintiff and
a vocational expert (VE) testified. At the second hearing
Plaintiff, a VE, and a medical expert (ME) testified.
Plaintiff was represented by an attorney at both hearings.
issued a decision on June 23, 2017, in which he found
Plaintiff is not disabled and, therefore, is not entitled to
benefits. Tr. 15-26. Pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 404.984(d)
that decision became the final decision of the Commissioner
on November 16, 2017, when the Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review. Tr. 1-6. See Sims v.
Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, 106-07 (2000).
was born on April 5, 1967. Tr. 263. Plaintiff was 49 years
old at the time of the first hearing and 50 years old at the
time of the second hearing. Plaintiff has a high-school
education and training as a Certified Nurse Assistant. Tr.
39. Plaintiff has past relevant work experience as a
telemarketer, fast-food salesperson, and cashier. Tr. 25.
alleges disability due to HIV, hepatitis C, degenerative disc
disease of the spine and knee, post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), depression, anxiety, panic disorder, and a history of
alcohol abuse. Tr. 17.
when 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. 22-24.
initial burden of proof rests on the claimant to establish
disability. Molina v. Astrue, 674 F.3d 1104, 1110
(9thCir. 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 proper