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.

Carl W. v. Saul

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

June 18, 2019

CARL W., Plaintiff,
v.
ANDREW M. SAUL, Commissioner of Social Security, [1] Defendant.

          ORDER RE: SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY APPEAL

          Mary Alice Theiler United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff proceeds through counsel in his appeal of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (Commissioner). The Commissioner denied plaintiff's application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) after a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Having considered the ALJ's decision, the administrative record (AR), and all memoranda, this matter is AFFIRMED.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiff was born on XXXX, 1985.[2] He completed the ninth or tenth grade of school, does not have a GED, and has no past relevant work. (AR 39, 55, 213, 222.)

         Plaintiff protectively filed an SSI application in March 2015, alleging disability beginning January 1, 1988. (AR 204.) His application was denied initially and on reconsideration.

         On September 20, 2016, ALJ S. Andrew Grace held a hearing, taking testimony from plaintiff and a vocational expert (VE). (AR 34-59.) Plaintiff amended his alleged onset date to March 23, 2015. (See AR 15, 37.) The ALJ held a second hearing on January 10, 2017, taking testimony from plaintiff and a medical expert (ME). (AR 60-82.) On October 16, 2017, the ALJ issued a decision finding plaintiff not disabled. (AR 15-26.)

         Plaintiff timely appealed. The Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review on September 27, 2018 (AR 1-5), making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner. Plaintiff appealed this final decision of the Commissioner to this Court.

         JURISDICTION

         The Court has jurisdiction to review the ALJ's decision pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         DISCUSSION

         The Commissioner follows a five-step sequential evaluation process for determining whether a claimant is disabled. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920 (2000). At step one, it must be determined whether the claimant is gainfully employed. The ALJ noted plaintiff's testimony he performed some community service/volunteer work at a food bank in 2015 and found he had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date. At step two, it must be determined whether a claimant suffers from a severe impairment. The ALJ found plaintiff's tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary valve regurgitation status post pulmonary valve replacement, heart murmur, pulmonic stenosis, pulmonic regurgitation, depression, and learning disorder not otherwise specified severe. Step three asks whether a claimant's impairments meet or equal a listed impairment. The ALJ found plaintiff's impairments did not meet or equal a listing.

         If a claimant's impairments do not meet or equal a listing, the Commissioner must assess residual functional capacity (RFC) and determine at step four whether the claimant has demonstrated an inability to perform past relevant work. The ALJ found plaintiff able to perform sedentary work, with the following limitations: never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; occasionally climb ramps and stairs and stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl; avoid concentrated exposure to extreme temperatures, pulmonary irritants, and hazards; limited to simple, routine, repetitive tasks consistent with unskilled work and low stress work, defined as work requiring few decisions/changes; and occasional contact with co-workers, but no public contact. Plaintiff had no past relevant work to consider.

         If a claimant demonstrates an inability to perform past relevant work, or has no past relevant work, the burden shifts to the Commissioner to demonstrate at step five that the claimant retains the capacity to make an adjustment to work that exists in significant levels in the national economy. With the assistance of the VE, the ALJ found plaintiff capable of performing other jobs, such as work as a table worker, semiconductor dye loader, and semiconductor wafer breaker.

         This Court's review of the ALJ's decision is limited to whether the decision is in accordance with the law and the findings supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. See Penny v. Sullivan, 2 F.3d 953, 956 (9th Cir. 1993). Accord Marsh v. Colvin, 792 F.3d 1170, 1172 (9th Cir. 2015) (“We will set aside a denial of benefits only if the denial is unsupported by substantial evidence in the administrative record or is based on legal error.”) Substantial evidence means more than a scintilla, but less than a preponderance; it means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Magallanes v. Bowen, 881 F.2d 747, 750 (9th Cir. 1989). If ...


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.