Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Tammy B. v. Commissioner, Social Security Administration

United States District Court, D. Oregon

April 11, 2019

TAMMY B., [1] Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.

          Richard F. McGinty McGinty & Belcher, PC, Attorney for Plaintiff

          Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney Renata Gowie, Asst. U.S. Attorney, Ryan Ta Lu Special Asst. U.S. Attorney Office of the General Counsel Social Security Administration, Attorneys for Defendants

          OPINION AND ORDER

          John Jelderks, U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §405(g) seeking judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (the Commissioner) denying her applications for Disabled Widow's Benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under the Social Security Act (the Act). Plaintiff requests that the Court remand this action to the Social Security Administration (the Agency) for an award of benefits.

         For the reasons set out below, the Commissioner's decision is affirmed.

         Procedural Background

         Plaintiff filed applications for Disabled Widow's Benefits, Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB), and SSI on June 14, 2013, alleging she had been disabled since December 31, 1993. After her claim was denied initially and upon reconsideration, Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing.

         On October 28, 2015, a hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Marilyn Mauer. At the hearing Plaintiff amended her disability onset date to May 16, 2013. With the amendment, Plaintiff's DIB claim was dismissed as not meeting the insured status requirements of sections 216(i) and 223 and only Plaintiff's claims for Disabled Widow's Benefits and SSI remained for adjudication. Plaintiff; Plaintiff's mother, EmmaJean Y.; and Leta Berkshire, a vocational expert (VE), testified at the hearing. Plaintiff was represented by counsel.

         In a decision dated February 9, 2016, the ALJ found that Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Act.

         On October 25, 2016, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, rendering the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner. In the present action, Plaintiff challenges that decision.

         Background

         Plaintiff was born in 1963 and was 52 years old at the time of the ALJ's decision. She graduated from high school and appears to have completed between a semester and one year of college. Tr. 67, 244. She has no past relevant work.

         Disability Analysis

         The ALJ engages in a five-step sequential inquiry to determine whether a claimant is disabled within the meaning of the Act. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920. Below is a summary of the five steps, which also are described in Tackett v. Apfel, 180 F.3d 1094, 1098-99 (9th Cir. 1999).

         Step One.

         The Commissioner determines whether the claimant is engaged in substantial gainful activity (SGA). A claimant engaged in such activity is not disabled. If the claimant is not engaged in substantial gainful activity, the Commissioner proceeds to evaluate the claimant's case under Step Two. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(b).

         Step Two.

         The Commissioner determines whether the claimant has one or more severe impairments. A claimant who does not have such an impairment is not disabled. If the claimant has a severe impairment, the Commissioner proceeds to evaluate the claimant's case under Step Three. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(c).

         Step Three.

         Disability cannot be based solely on a severe impairment; therefore, the Commissioner next determines whether the claimant's impairment “meets or equals” one of the presumptively disabling impairments listed in the Social Security Administration (SSA) regulations, 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. A claimant who has such an impairment is disabled. If the claimant's impairment does not meet or equal an impairment listed in the regulations, the Commissioner's evaluation of the claimant's case proceeds under Step Four. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(d).

         Step Four.

         The Commissioner determines whether the claimant is able to perform relevant work he or she has done in the past. A claimant who can perform past relevant work is not disabled. If the claimant demonstrates he or she cannot do work performed in the past, the Commissioner's evaluation of the claimant's case proceeds under Step Five. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(f).

         Step Five.

         The Commissioner determines whether the claimant is able to do any other work. A claimant who cannot perform other work is disabled. If the Commissioner finds that the claimant is able to do other work, the Commissioner must show that a significant number of jobs exist in the national economy that the claimant can do. The Commissioner may satisfy this burden through the testimony of a vocational expert (VE) or by reference to the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2. If the Commissioner demonstrates that a significant number of jobs exist in the national economy that the claimant can do, the claimant is not disabled. If the Commissioner does not meet this burden, the claimant is disabled. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(g)(1).

         At Steps One through Four, the burden of proof is on the claimant. Tackett, 180 F.3d at 1098. At Step Five, the burden shifts to the Commissioner to show that the claimant can perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy. Id.

         ALJ's Decision

         As a preliminary matter, the ALJ found that Plaintiff last met the insured status requirements on September 30, 1998 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.