Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gumm v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

September 5, 2017

TINA M. GUMM, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER AFFIRMING DEFENDANT'S DECISION TO DENY BENEFITS

          Theresa L. Fricke United States Magistrate Judge.

         Tina M. Gumm has brought this matter for judicial review of the Commissioner's denial of her application for supplemental security income (SSI) benefits. The parties have consented to have this matter heard by the undersigned Magistrate Judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73; Local Rule MJR 13. For the reasons set forth below, the Court affirms the Commissioner's decision to deny benefits.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On January 31, 2012, Ms. Gumm filed an application for SSI benefits, alleging that she became disabled beginning January 9, 2006. Dkt. 11, Administrative Record (AR) 586. That application was denied on initial administrative review, on reconsideration, and after a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Id. On August 19, 2015, this Court reversed the ALJ's decision and remanded for further proceedings. Id. On May 18, 2016, another hearing was held before a different ALJ, at which Ms. Gumm appeared and testified, as did a vocational expert. AR 646-81. Ms. Gumm amended her disability's alleged onset date to January 31, 2012. AR 586.

         In a written decision on November 14, 2016, the ALJ found that Ms. Gumm could perform her past relevant work and therefore was not disabled. AR 586-94. It appears that the Appeals Council did not assume jurisdiction of the matter, making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's final decision, which Ms. Gumm appealed in a complaint filed with this Court on January 13, 2017. Dkt. 3; 20 C.F.R. § 416.1481.

         Ms. Gumm seeks reversal of the ALJ's decision and remand for an award of benefits, or in the alternative, for further administrative proceedings, arguing the ALJ erred:

(1) in evaluating the medical evidence;
(2) in discounting Ms. Gumm's credibility;
(3) in assessing Ms. Gumm's residual functional capacity; and
(4) in finding Ms. Gumm could perform her past relevant work.

         For the reasons set forth below, however, the Court disagrees that the ALJ erred as alleged and therefore affirms the ALJ's decision to deny benefits.

         DISCUSSION

         The Commissioner employs a five-step “sequential evaluation process” to determine whether a claimant is disabled. 20 C.F.R. § 416.920. If the ALJ finds the claimant disabled or not disabled at any particular step, the ALJ makes the disability determination at that step and the sequential evaluation process ends. See id. At issue here are the ALJ's weighing of the medical evidence, her determination that Ms. Gumm's subjective claims were not consistent with the record, and her resulting assessment of Ms. Gumm's RFC and conclusion that Ms. Gumm could perform her past work as a receptionist.

         This Court affirms an ALJ's determination that a claimant is not disabled if the ALJ applied “proper legal standards” in weighing the evidence and making the determination and if “substantial evidence in the record as a whole supports” that determination. Hoffman v. Heckler, 785 F.2d 1423, 1425 (9th Cir. 1986). Substantial evidence is “‘such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.'” Trevizo v. Berryhill, 862 F.3d 987, 996 (2017) (quoting Desrosiers v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 846 F.2d 573, 576 (9th Cir. 1988)). This requires “‘more than a mere scintilla, '” though “‘less than a preponderance'” of the evidence. Id. (quoting Desrosiers, 846 F.2d at 576).

         This Court will thus uphold the ALJ's findings if “inferences reasonably drawn from the record” support them. Batson v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec. Admin., 359 F.3d 1190, 1193 (9th Cir. 2004). If more than one rational interpretation can be drawn from the evidence, then this Court must uphold the ALJ's interpretation. Allen v. Heckler, 749 F.2d 577, 579 (9th Cir. 1984).

         I. The ALJ's Evaluation of the Medical and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.