United States District Court, D. Oregon
KATHERINE EITENMILLER MARK A. MANNING, Attorneys for
J. WILLIAMS, United States Attorney, RENATA GOWIE, Assistant
United States Attorney, MICHAEL W. PILE, Acting Regional
Chief Counsel, JOSEPH JOHN LANGKAMER Special Assistant United
States Attorney, Attorneys for Defendant
OPINION AND ORDER
Deborah Joanne G. seeks judicial review of a final decision
of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(SSA) in which she denied Plaintiff's application for
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.
reasons that follow, the Court AFFIRMS the
decision of the Commissioner and DISMISSES
filed an application for SSI on August 7, 2013, and alleged a
disability onset date of June 15, 2011. Tr. 190-
Her application was denied initially and on reconsideration.
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) held a hearing on August
10, 2016. Tr. 36-73. At the hearing the ALJ amended
Plaintiff's onset date to August 7, 2013. Tr. 39.
Plaintiff and a vocational expert (VE) testified at the
hearing, and Plaintiff was represented by an attorney.
October 4, 2016, the ALJ issued an opinion in which she found
Plaintiff is not disabled and, therefore, is not entitled to
benefits. Tr. 19-34. On November 30, 2017, that decision
became the final decision of the Commissioner when the
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review.
Tr. 1-7. See Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, 106-07
was born on August 6, 1963, and was 53 years old at the time
of the hearing. Tr. 190. Plaintiff has a GED. Tr. 215.
Plaintiff has past relevant work experience as a
telemarketer. Tr. 29.
alleges disability due to migraines, chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD), arthritis, depression, and an
anxiety disorder. Tr. 75.
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. 25-28.
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 her 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
evaluation of the evidence. McLeod v. Astrue, 640
F.3d 881, 885 (9th Cir. 2011)(quoting Mayes v.
Massanari, 276 F.3d 453, 459-60 (9th Cir.
district court must affirm the Commissioner's decision if
it is based on proper legal standards and the findings are
supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g). See also Brewes v. Comm'r of
Soc. Sec. Admin., 682 F.3d 1157, 1161 (9th
Cir. 2012). Substantial evidence is “relevant evidence
that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Molina, 674 F.3d. At
1110-11 (quoting Valentine v. Comm'r Soc. Sec.
Admin., 574 F.3d 685, 690 (9th Cir. 2009)).
It is more than a mere scintilla [of evidence] but less than
a preponderance. Id. (citing Valentine, 574
F.3d at 690).
is responsible for determining credibility, resolving
conflicts in the medical evidence, and resolving ambiguities.
Vasquez v. Astrue, 572 F.3d 586, 591 (9th
Cir. 2009). The court must weigh all of the evidence whether
it supports or detracts from the Commissioner's decision.
Ryan v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 528 F.3d 1194, 1198
(9th Cir. 2008). Even when the evidence is
susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, the
court must uphold the Commissioner's findings if they are
supported by inferences reasonably drawn from the record.
Ludwig v. Astrue, 681 F.3d 1047, 1051
(9th Cir. 2012). The court may not substitute its
judgment for that of the Commissioner. Widmark v.
Barnhart, 454 F.3d 1063, 1070 (9th Cir.