United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
L.W. BY TASHA LEE D.,  Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER, Social Security Administration, Defendant.
OPINION & ORDER
A. HERNÁNDEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tasha Lee D. brings this action on behalf of L.W. for
judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision
denying L.W.'s application for Supplemental Security
Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI 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)).
Because the Commissioner's decision is free of legal
error and supported by substantial evidence in the record,
the Court AFFIRMS the decision and DISMISSES this case.
was born on April 22, 2006. Tr. 16. She was seven years old on
July 1, 2013, the alleged disability onset date, eight years
old on March 16, 2015, the date the application was filed,
and eleven years old at the time of the ALJ's decision.
Tr. 13, 16. L.W.'s mother asserts that L.W. is disabled
based on conditions including attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and
adjustment disorder with anxiety. Tr. 16.
benefits application was denied initially on July 1, 2015,
and upon reconsideration on November 16, 2015. Tr. 15. A
hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge Jo
Hoenninger on March 16, 2017. Tr. 15. On March 17, 2017, ALJ
Hoenninger recused herself from the case. Tr. 13 n.1. On
August 18, 2017, ALJ Christopher L. Dillon issued a written
decision, finding that L.W. was not disabled and therefore
not entitled to benefits. Tr. 29. The Appeals Council
declined review, rendering ALJ Gaffney's decision the
Commissioner's final decision. Tr. 1-6.
claimant under the age of 18 is “disabled” within
the meaning of the Act if she is not engaged in substantial
gainful activity and has a medically determinable physical
and/or mental impairment or combination of impairments that
either meets or equals a presumptively disabling impairment
included in the Listing of Impairments, 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404,
Subpt. P, App. 1, or results in marked or extreme functional
limitations. SSR 09-1p (Mar. 19, 2009), available at 2009
evaluating a child claimant's application for SSI, an ALJ
first considers whether the child performs substantial
gainful activity. 20 C.F.R. § 416.924(b). A child who
performs substantial gainful activity is not disabled.
Id. The ALJ next determines whether the child has a
severe medically determinable impairment or impairments. 20
C.F.R. § 416(c). A child who does not have such an
impairment is not disabled. Id. If the child has a
severe impairment or impairments, the ALJ determines whether
the impairment or combination of impairments meets, medically
equals, or functionally equals an impairment in the listings.
20 C.F.R. § 416.924(d). In making that determination,
the ALJ evaluates the degree of limitation caused by the
impairment in six domains: (1) acquiring and using
information; (2) attending and completing tasks; (3)
interacting with and relating to others; (4) moving about and
manipulating objects; (5) caring for oneself; and (6) health
and physical well-being. 20 C.F.R. § 416.926(a). An
impairment functionally equals a listed impairment if it
causes a marked limitation in two of these domains or an
extreme limitation in one domain. 20 C.F.R. §
416.926a(d). A child is disabled if an impairment or
combination of impairments meets or equals an impairment in
the listings. 20 C.F.R. § 416.926(d)(1).
first step of the disability analysis, the ALJ found that
L.W. had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since
the application date. Tr. 16.
second step, the ALJ determined that L.W. had “the
following severe impairments: attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), [and]
adjustment disorder with anxiety.” Tr. 16.
third step, the ALJ found that L.W. did not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that met, medically
equaled, or functionally equaled an impairment in the
listings, 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. Tr.
16-28. The ALJ considered listings 112.08, 112.06, 112.11,
and 112.15. Tr. 16. He concluded that L.W. had (1) no
limitation in acquiring and using information, and moving
about and manipulating objects; and (2) less than marked
limitations in attending to and completing tasks, interacting
with and relating to others, caring for herself, and health
and physical well-being. Tr. 22-28. Based on these findings,
the ALJ concluded that L.W. was not disabled within the
meaning of the Act. Tr. 28.
may set aside the Commissioner's denial of benefits only
when the Commissioner's findings are based on legal error
or are unsupported by substantial evidence in the record as a
whole. Vasquez v. Astrue, 572 F.3d 586, 591 (9th
Cir. 2009). “Substantial evidence means more than a
mere scintilla but less than a preponderance; it is such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.” Id.
(internal quotation marks omitted). Courts consider the
record as a whole, including both the evidence that supports
and detracts from the Commissioner's decision.
Id.; Lingenfelter v. Astrue, 504 F.3d 1028,
1035 (9th Cir. 2007). “Where the evidence is
susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, the
ALJ's decision must be affirmed.” Vasquez,
572 F.3d at 591 (internal quotation marks omitted); see