United States District Court, E.D. Washington
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'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. 12) and the Defendant's Motion For
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 13).
Francis Sieler, Plaintiff, applied for Title XVI Supplemental
Security Income benefits (SSI) on April 10, 2012. The
application was denied initially and on reconsideration.
Plaintiff timely requested a hearing which was held on March
20, 2014, before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Lori L.
Freund. Plaintiff testified at the hearing, as did Vocational
Expert (VE) K. Diane Kramer. On June 3, 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 her application for SSI benefits, Plaintiff was
25 years old, and at the time of the administrative hearing,
she was 27 years old. She has a high school education, but no
past relevant work experience.
[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) failing to find that Plaintiff
has a “severe” psychotic disorder and a
“severe” schizoaffective disorder; 2) failing to
accurately assess Plaintiff's residual functional
capacity (RFC); and 3) failing to pose a proper hypothetical
to the VE.