United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
R. SHEPHERD Of Attorney for Plaintiff,
J. WILLIAMS United States Attorney RENATA GOWIE Assistant
United States Attorney
JEFFREY E. STAPLES Special Assistant United States Attorney
Office of the General Counsel Of Attorney for Defendant
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
V. ACOSTA, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
("Plaintiff) seeks judicial review of the final decision
of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
("Commissioner") denying his application for
Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under Title
II the Social Security Act ("Act"). This court has
jurisdiction to review the Commissioner's decision
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Based on a careful
review of the record, the Commissioner's decision should
applied for DIB on July 23, 2014, alleging a disability onset
date of June 22, 2013, due to obesity, and comminuted
segmental tibia fracture and fibula shaft fracture status
post-external fixation of the tibia and open reduction
internal fixation. (Tr. 21, 141-48.) His application was
denied initially and upon reconsideration. (Tr. 81, 83-87.)
Plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law
Judge ("ALJ"), which hearing occurred on December
14, 2016. (Tr. 36-61.) ALJ Cynthia Rosa issued a partially
favorable decision finding Plaintiff disabled for a closed
period between June 22, 2013 and October 22, 2015, but not
disabled after that date. (Tr. 13-30.) The Appeals Council
denied Plaintiffs request for review on May 21, 2018, making
the ALJ's decision the final decision of the
Commissioner. (Tr. 1-7.) This appeal followed.
November 1969, Plaintiff was 43 years old on his alleged
onset date. (Tr. 142.) He completed one year of college and a
plumber apprenticeship. (Tr. 168.) Plaintiff previously
worked as a plumber for a construction business.
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. Hammock
v. Bowen, 879 F.2d 498, 501 (9th Cir. 1989). Substantial
evidence is "more than a mere scintilla. It means such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion." Richardson v.
Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971) (quoting Consol
Edison Co. v. N.L.R.B., 305 U.S. 197, 229 (1938)). The
court must weigh "both the evidence that supports and
detracts from the [Commissioner's] conclusions."
Martinez v. Heckler, 807 F.2d 771, 772 (9th Cir.
1986). "Where the evidence as a whole can support either
a grant or a denial, [a court] may not substitute [its]
judgment for the ALJ's." Massachi v.
Astrue, 486 F.3d 1149, 1152 (9th Cir. 2007) (citation
initial burden of proof rests upon the claimant to establish
disability. Howard v. Heckler, 782 F.2d 1484, 1486
(9th Cir. 1986). To meet this burden, the claimant must
demonstrate an "inability to engage in any substantial
gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable
physical or mental impairment which can be expected ... to
last for a continuous period of not less than 12
months." 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A).
Commissioner has established a five-step sequential process
for determining whether a person is disabled. Bowen v.
Yuckert, 482 U.S. 137, 140 (1987); 20 C.F.R. §
404.1520. At step one, the Commissioner determines whether
the claimant is engaged in "substantial gainful
activity." Yuckert, 482 U.S. at 140; 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1520(b). If so, she is not disabled.
two, the Commissioner evaluates 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). If the claimant ...