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.

Young v. Berryhill

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

February 27, 2019

ALBERT M. YOUNG, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER AFFIRMING DECISION OF ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY [1]

          DERRICK K. WATSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On May 24, 2018, Plaintiff Albert M. Young appealed the Acting Commissioner of Social Security's denial of his application for disability insurance benefits. In his Opening Brief, Young asks this Court to review (1) the Administrative Law Judge's (“ALJ”) finding with respect to residual functional capacity (“RFC”), and (2) the ALJ's rejection of his symptom testimony. After carefully reviewing the record below and the parties' submissions, the Court concludes that the ALJ did not err in the manner suggested by Young and affirms the decision of the Acting Commissioner of Social Security, as set forth below.

         BACKGROUND

         I. Review of Disability Claims

         A five-step process exists for evaluating whether a person is disabled under the Social Security Act (SSA). 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520. First, the claimant must demonstrate that he is not currently involved in any substantial, gainful activity. Id. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(i), (b). Second, the claimant must show a medically severe impairment or combination of impairments that significantly limit his physical or mental ability to do basic work activities. Id. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(ii), (c). Third, if the impairment matches or is equivalent to an established listing under the governing regulations, the claimant is judged conclusively disabled. Id. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(iii), (d).

         If the claimant's impairment does not match or is not equivalent to an established listing, the Commissioner makes a finding about the claimant's residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform work. Id. § 404.1520(e). The evaluation then proceeds to a fourth step, which requires the claimant to show his impairment, in light of his RFC, prevents him from performing work he performed in the past. Id. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(iv), (e), (f). If the claimant is able to perform his previous work, he is not disabled. Id. § 404.1520(f). If the claimant cannot perform his past work, though, the evaluation proceeds to a fifth step. Id. § 404.1520(a)(v), (g). At this final step, the Commissioner must demonstrate that (1) based upon the claimant's RFC, age, education, and work experience, the claimant can perform other work, and (2) such work is available in significant numbers in the national economy. Id. § 404.1560(c); Tackett v. Apfel, 180 F.3d 1094, 1098 (9th Cir. 1999) (explaining that, at step five, the burden moves to the Commissioner). If the Commissioner fails to meet this burden, the claimant is deemed disabled. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(g)(1).

         II. The ALJ's Decision

         On June 7, 2017, the ALJ issued a decision finding Young “not under a disability” for purposes of the SSA from the alleged onset date of January 1, 1996 through June 30, 1999, which is the date Young was last insured. Administrative Record (“AR”) at 23. At Step One of the evaluation process, the ALJ determined that Young had not engaged in substantial gainful activity from January 1, 1996 through June 30, 1999. Id. at 18. At Step Two, the ALJ determined that, through June 30, 1999, Young had the following severe impairments: mild-to-moderate chondromalacia of the patellofemoral joints bilaterally; right mild calcific rotator cuff tenderness with positive impingement test; lumbar spine degenerative disc disease; left hand (particularly thumb) degenerative joint disease and nerve damage; and obesity. Id. At Step Three, the ALJ determined that, through June 30, 1999, Young did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one of the impairments listed in the governing regulations. Id.

         Before reaching Step Four, the ALJ determined that, through June 30, 1999, Young had the RFC of “less-than-light exertion, ” id. at 21, with the following limitations:

[H]e was able to lift and/or carry 20 pounds occasionally; he was able to stand and/or walk 4 hours total (no more than 2 hours at a time) during an 8-hour period; he was able to sit 6 hours total (also no more than 2 hours at a time) during an 8-hour period; he was able to push and/or pull frequently with the bilateral upper extremities; he was able to occasionally climb ramps and stairs (he was never able to climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds); he was able to occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, and crouch (but never crawl); he was able occasionally to reach overhead with the bilateral upper extremities; he was able to perform gross handling and fine fingering frequently with the left upper extremity[;] and[, ] he had to avoid concentrated exposure to unprotected heights and hazardous machinery[.]

Id. at 18. The ALJ also later stated that Young could lift and/or carry at the light level of exertion, meaning 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. Id. at 21.

         At Step Four, the ALJ determined that Young was unable to perform any past relevant work. Id. at 21-22. At Step Five, the ALJ determined that, through June 30, 1999, there were jobs that existed in significant numbers in the national economy that Young could perform. Id. at 22-23. More specifically, a vocational expert stated that, in light of Young's RFC, age, education, and work experience, he would be able to perform the jobs of cashier II (booth), storage facility rental clerk, and furniture rental consultant. Id. at 22. This final determination resulted in the ALJ finding that Young was not under a disability for purposes of the Social Security Act at any time from January 1, 1996 through June 30, 1999. Id.

         III. The Appeals Council's Decision

         On March 20, 2018, the Appeals Council denied Young's request for review of the ALJ's decision. Id. at 1.

         IV. ...


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.