United States District Court, D. Oregon
FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATION
M. COFFIN 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.
determined at Step Two that plaintiff had the following
severe impairments: mental health conditions, described as
depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress
disorder and history of polysubstance dependence, described
as in remission. The ALJ found that plaintiff could not
perform her past relevant work. The ALJ found at Step 5 that
there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the
national economy that plaintiff can perform.
discussed in further detail below, plaintiff makes several
arguments in support of reversal.
counselor, Ms. Kristen Rogers, authored a mental health
opinion that was signed by her supervisor Pamela S. Jacobs,
PhD. The ALJ discounted this opinion.
parties agree that the ALJ could reject this opinion from
these treatment providers for specific and legitimate
reasons. Defendant persuasively demonstrates that the ALJ
appropriately handled this opinion. P.p. 12-14 of
Defendant's Brief (#20).
discounted the opinion for the valid and specific and
legitimate reason of a limited treatment history. The opinion
was provided after only six months of treatment. Although
plaintiff argues that the Commissioner failed to put forth
any reasoning that Ms. Rogers and Dr. Jacobs were unfamiliar
with the longitudal record or unable to author an opinion
following months of frequent, regular treatment, with
interaction 3 to 4 times a month, there is nothing in the
opinion indicating that the longitudal record was considered
for the opinion and plaintiff does not indicate otherwise.
also provided the specific and legitimate reasons of
inconsistency with plaintiff's activities, other medical
evidence of intact cognitive functioning, and that the
opinion appears to be based on plaintiff's subjective
reports. Again, defendant persuasively demonstrates that the
ALJ appropriately handled this opinion and plaintiff s
arguments are not persuasive in the circumstances of this
action . P.p. 13-14 of Defendant's Brief (#20) . For
example, plaintiff states that there is nothing to suggest
that the opinion was based on plaintiff's subjective
complaints. A review of the opinion, however, indicates that
there is little that suggests the opinion was not based on
subjective reports and no further explanation on this issue
was required by the ALJ in the circumstances of this
Lay Witness/Other Source Testimony
parties agree that in this particular action germane reasons
must be given by the ALJ to discount the testimony discussed
in this section.
Vocational Rehabilitation ...