United States District Court, D. Oregon
Merrill Schneider, SCHNEIDER KERR & ROBICHAUX, Attorney for
Gowie, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE - DISTRICT OF OREGON,
Thomas M. Elsberry SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Attorneys
OPINION & ORDER
HERNÁNDEZ, DISTRICT JUDGE
Anthony B. brings this action seeking judicial review of the
Commissioner's final decision to partially deny
Plaintiff's claim for supplemental security income (SSI)
and fully deny Plaintiff's claim for social security
disability insurance (SSDI) benefits before May 1, 2014. This
Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)
(incorporated by 42 U.S.C. § 1383(c)(3)). The Court
reverses the Commissioner's decision and remands for
applied for SSI and SSDI on December 24, 2013, alleging an
onset date of March 31, 2010. Tr. 93-112. His applications
were denied initially and on reconsideration. Tr. 143-49,
157-62. On May 24, 2016, Plaintiff appeared, with counsel,
for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”). Tr. 45-90. On August 29, 2016, the ALJ
found Plaintiff not disabled before May 1, 2014, but disabled
after that date. Tr. 39. The Appeals Council denied review.
alleges disability based on arthritis in his shoulders and
hands, hernia, COPD, neuropathy in hands and feet, sleep
apnea, tendonitis in both hands, and history of prostate
cancer. Tr. 103. At the time of the hearing, he was 58 years
old. Tr. 103 (stating date of birth). He completed high
school. Tr. 54. Plaintiff has past relevant work as a steel
inspector. Tr. 37.
claimant is disabled if he or she is unable 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), 1382c(a)(3)(A).
claims are evaluated according to a five-step procedure.
See Valentine v. Comm'r, 574 F.3d 685, 689 (9th
Cir. 2009) (in social security cases, agency uses five-step
procedure to determine disability). The claimant bears the
ultimate burden of proving disability. Id.
first step, the Commissioner determines whether a claimant is
engaged in “substantial gainful activity.” If so,
the claimant is not disabled. Bowen v. Yuckert, 482
U.S. 137, 140 (1987); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(b),
416.920(b). In step two, the Commissioner determines whether
the claimant has a “medically severe impairment or
combination of impairments.” Yuckert, 482 U.S.
at 140-41; 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(c), 416.920(c). If
not, the claimant is not disabled.
three, the Commissioner determines whether plaintiff's
impairments, singly or in combination, meet or equal
“one of a number of listed impairments that the
[Commissioner] acknowledges are so severe as to preclude
substantial gainful activity.” Yuckert, 482
U.S. at 141; 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(d), 416.920(d).
If so, the claimant is conclusively presumed disabled; if
not, the Commissioner proceeds to step four.
Yuckert, 482 U.S. at 141.
four, the Commissioner determines whether the claimant,
despite any impairment(s), has the residual functional
capacity (“RFC”) to perform “past relevant
work.” 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(e), 416.920(e).
If the claimant can perform past relevant work, the claimant
is not disabled. If the claimant cannot perform past relevant
work, the burden shifts to the Commissioner. In step five,
the Commissioner must establish that the claimant can perform
other work. Yuckert, 482 U.S. at 141-42; 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(e) & (f), 416.920(e) & (f). If the
Commissioner meets his burden and proves that the claimant is
able to perform other work which exists in the national
economy, the claimant is not disabled. 20 C.F.R. §§
one, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff had not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since his alleged onset date.
Tr. 28. Next, at steps two and three, the ALJ determined
that, since the alleged onset date of disability, Plaintiff
has severe impairments of prostate cancer and bilateral
shoulder disorder. Tr. 29. Beginning on the established onset
date of disability, May 1, 2014, the ALJ determined that
Plaintiff had the additional severe impairment of a left foot
disorder. Tr. 29. The ALJ determined that, since the ...