United States District Court, D. Oregon
Jeffrey H. Baird Dellert Baird Law Offices, PLLC Attorney for
Gowie U.S. Attorney's Office District of Oregon Stephen
Dmetruk Office of the General Counsel Social Security
Administration Attorneys for Defendant
OPINION & ORDER
A. HERNÁNDEZ United States District Judge.
Kimberly B. 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. This Court has jurisdiction
under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The Court reverses the
Commissioner's decision and remands for further
applied for DIB on August 18, 2015, alleging an onset date of
July 31, 2011. Tr. 212. Her application was denied initially
and on reconsideration. Tr. 124, 134-38.
15, 2017, Plaintiff appeared, with counsel, for a hearing
before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Tr. 30-53. On
September 14, 2017, the ALJ found Plaintiff not disabled. Tr.
13-23. The Appeals Council denied review. Tr. 1-6.
alleges disability on July 31, 2011. Tr. 212. At the time of
the hearing, she was sixty three years old. Tr. 30, 54. She
has a high school education and has past relevant work
experience as a grocery store cashier and manager. Tr. 37,
claimant is disabled if they are 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), 1382c(a)(3)(A). Disability claims are evaluated
according to a five-step procedure. See Valentine v.
Comm'r, 574 F.3d 685, 689 (9th Cir. 2009) (in social
security cases, agency uses five-step procedure to determine
disability). 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). In 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. Id.
three, the Commissioner determines whether the 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 residual functional
capacity (RFC) to perform “past relevant work.”
20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(e), 416.920(e). If the
claimant can perform past relevant work, the claimant is not
disabled. If the claimant cannot perform past relevant work,
the burden shifts to the Commissioner. In 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 his burden ...