United States District Court, E.D. Washington
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT, INTER ALIA
R. SUKO Senior United States District Judge
THE COURT are the Plaintiff's Motion For Summary Judgment
(ECF No. 15) and the Defendant's Motion For Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 20).
Spotted Blanket, Plaintiff, applied for Title XVI
Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI) on November 14,
2011, on which date he was 33 years old. The application was
denied initially and on reconsideration. Plaintiff timely
requested a hearing which was held on December 12, 2013
before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Moira Ausems. Plaintiff
testified at the hearing, as did Vocational Expert (VE)
Thomas Polsin. On April 10, 2014, the ALJ issued a decision
finding the Plaintiff not disabled. The Appeals Council
denied a request for review of the ALJ's decision, making
that decision the Commissioner's final decision subject
to judicial review. The Commissioner's final decision is
appealable to district court pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§405(g) and §1383(c)(3).
facts have been presented in the administrative transcript,
the ALJ's decision, the Plaintiff's and
Defendant's briefs, and will only be summarized here. At
the time of the administrative hearing, Plaintiff was 35
years old. He has a high school education. He has past
relevant work experience as a die casting machine operator,
tree planter, cashier checker and construction worker.
[Commissioner's] determination that a claimant is not
disabled will be upheld if the findings of fact are supported
by substantial evidence...." Delgado v.
Heckler, 722 F.2d 570, 572 (9th Cir. 1983). Substantial
evidence is more than a mere scintilla, Sorenson v.
Weinberger, 514 F.2d 1112, 1119 n.10 (9th Cir. 1975),
but less than a preponderance. McAllister v.
Sullivan, 888 F.2d 599, 601-602 (9th Cir. 1989);
Desrosiers v. Secretary of Health and Human
Services, 846 F.2d 573, 576 (9th Cir. 1988). "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, 91 S.Ct.
1420 (1971). "[S]uch inferences and conclusions as the
[Commissioner] may reasonably draw from the evidence"
will also be upheld. Beane v. Richardson, 457 F.2d
758, 759 (9th Cir. 1972); Mark v. Celebrezze, 348
F.2d 289, 293 (9th Cir. 1965). On review, the court considers
the record as a whole, not just the evidence supporting the
decision of the Commissioner. Weetman v. Sullivan,
877 F.2d 20, 22 (9th Cir. 1989); Thompson v.
Schweiker, 665 F.2d 936, 939 (9th Cir. 1982).
the role of the trier of fact, not this court to resolve
conflicts in evidence. Richardson, 402 U.S. at 400.
If evidence supports more than one rational interpretation,
the court must uphold the decision of the ALJ. Allen v.
Heckler, 749 F.2d 577, 579 (9th Cir. 1984).
decision supported by substantial evidence will still be set
aside if the proper legal standards were not applied in
weighing the evidence and making the decision. Brawner v.
Secretary of Health and Human Services, 839 F.2d 432,
433 (9th Cir. 1987).
argues the ALJ erred in: 1) finding the Plaintiff not
credible; 2) not offering specific and legitimate reasons for
rejecting the opinions of Elizabeth Topsky, M.D., regarding
Plaintiff's limitations; 3) not offering specific and
germane reasons for rejecting the opinions of Margaret
Koepping, ARNP (Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner),
regarding Plaintiff's limitations; and 4) failing to
include all of Plaintiff's limitations in the RFC
(Residual Functional Capacity) determination.