United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
J. Wall Caitlin S. Laumaker Law Offices of George J. Wall
Attorney for Plaintiff
Williams United States Attorney Renata Gowie Assistant United
States Attorney Ryan Ta Lu Social Security Administration
Office of the General Counsel Attorneys for Defendant
OPINION & ORDER
A. HERNÁNDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Iryna R. brings this action for judicial review of the
Commissioner's final decision denying her application for
disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) under Title
II of the Social Security Act. The Court has jurisdiction
under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (incorporated by 42 U.S.C.
§ 1382(c)(3)). The issues before the Court are whether
the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) erred by:
(1) finding at step two that Plaintiff's buttock abscess
and resulting anal fistula were not severe impairments; (2)
finding Plaintiff was noncompliant with prescribed medical
treatment without following the procedures set out in SSR
82-59; and (3) discrediting the opinion of Michael Waddick,
M.D., Plaintiff's treating physician. The Court affirms
the Commissioner's final decision.
applied for DIB on June 16, 2015, alleging a disability onset
date of December 1, 2012. Tr. 314. Plaintiff's date last
insured was December 31, 2013. Tr. 22, 342. Plaintiff's
application was denied initially and upon reconsideration.
Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on April 24,
2017, before ALJ Vadim Mozyrsky. Tr. 208. In a written
decision issued September 19, 2017, ALJ Mozyrsky found
Plaintiff not disabled. Tr. 20-29. On June 18, 2018, the
Appeals Council denied review, rendering ALJ Mozyrsky's
decision final. Tr. 1-3.
claimant is disabled if 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). Disability claims are evaluated according to a
five-step procedure. Valentine v. Comm'r Soc. Sec.
Admin., 574 F.3d 685, 689 (9th Cir. 2009). 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). At 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 claimant'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 RFC to perform “past
relevant work.” 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(e),
416.920(e). If the claimant can, the claimant is not
disabled. If the claimant cannot perform past relevant work,
the burden shifts to the Commissioner. At 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 its 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.
§§ 404.1566, 416.966.
one, the ALJ found Plaintiff did not engage in substantial
gainful activity between her December 1, 2012, alleged onset
date and the December 31, 2013, date last insured. Tr. 22.
two, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe
impairments: obesity, diabetes, glaucoma, leg edema, and
varicose veins. Tr. 22-23.
three, the ALJ found Plaintiff's impairments or
combination of impairments did not meet or equal the severity