United States District Court, D. Oregon
JEREMIAH P. J.,  Plaintiff,
Commissioner, Social Security Administration, Defendant.
KATHERINE EITENMILLER BRENT WELLS Harder Wells Baron &
Manning Attorneys for Plaintiff
J. WILLIAMS United States Attorney RENATA GOWIE Assistant
United States Attorney
MICHAEL W. PILE Acting Regional Chief Counsel KATHERINE B.
WATSON Social Security Administration Office of the General
Counsel Attorneys for Defendant
OPINION AND ORDER
J. BROWN UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jeremiah P. J. seeks judicial review of a final decision of
the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA)
in which she denied Plaintiff's applications for
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Disability Insurance
Benefits (DIB) under Titles XVI and II of the Social Security
reasons that follow, the Court AFFIRMS the
decision of the Commissioner and DISMISSES
filed his applications for SSI and DIB on June 19, 2014. Tr.
167-72. Plaintiff alleged a disability onset date
of January 2, 2014. His applications were denied initially
and on reconsideration. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
held a hearing on October 31, 2016. Tr. 45-72. At the hearing
Plaintiff amended his onset date for his DIB application to
December 31, 2009. Tr. 53. Plaintiff and a vocational expert
(VE) testified. Plaintiff was represented by an attorney.
December 22, 2016, the ALJ issued an opinion on
Plaintiff's SSI application in which she found Plaintiff
is not disabled and, therefore, is not entitled to benefits.
Tr. 33-44. On December 28, 2016, the ALJ issued an opinion on
Plaintiff's DIB application in which she found Plaintiff
was not disabled before his date last insured, and,
therefore, he is not entitled to benefits. Tr. 36-40.
Pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 404.984(d), those decisions
became the final decisions of the Commissioner on January 8,
2018, when the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request
for review. Tr. 1-7. See Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S.
103, 106-07 (2000).
was born on April 20, 1979. Tr. 167. Plaintiff was 37 years
old at the time of the hearing. Plaintiff graduated from high
school with a “modified diploma.” Tr. 472.
Plaintiff has past relevant work experience as a security
officer. Tr. 22.
alleges disability due to a developmental disability,
cerebral palsy, spinal-cord damage, high blood pressure,
gout, plantar fasciitis, asthma, and hearing problems. Tr.
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. 19-21.
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
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.
The Regulatory Sequential Evaluation
One the claimant is not disabled if the Commissioner
determines the claimant is engaged in substantial gainful
activity. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(I),
416.920(a)(4)(I). See also Keyser ...