United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division
LAURI A. FERARRI, Plaintiff,
NANCY BERRYHILL, Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.
Johnston United States Magistrate Judge
November 3, 2014, the ALJ determined that Ms. Ferrari was not
under a disability as defined in the Social Security Act. She
appealed the ALJ's decision. On May 20, 2016, the Appeals
Council denied her request for review, making the ALJ's
determination the final decision of the Commissioner of the
Social Security Administration. The Commissioner determined
Ms. Ferrari has the residual functional capacity to perform
past relevant work and other work that exists in significant
numbers in the national economy, despite severe impairments,
and, therefore, is not disabled and not entitled to SSI
benefits. The Commissioner's determination is supported
by substantial evidence and is not based on legal error.
Thus, the Court denies Mr. Ferrari's Motion for Summary
Judgment and enters judgment in favor of the Commissioner.
Ms. Ferrari's opening brief failed to include a statement
indicating that the Great Falls Division of the District of
Montana is the proper venue for this action, the record
indicates when she commenced this action, she was a resident
of Sun River, Montana, which is in the Great Falls Division.
42 U.S.C. 405(g); Local Rule 1.2(c)(3). The parties consented
to the undersigned entering judgment in this matter under 28
U.S.C. § 636(c). Fed R. Civ. P 73.
in this case is limited. The Court may set aside the
Commissioner's decision only when substantial evidence
does not support the decision or the when the decision is
based on legal error. Maounis v. Heckler, 738 F.2d
1032, 1034 (9th Cir. 1984). Substantial evidence is
“such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion.”
Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971).
Substantial evidence has also been described as “more
than a mere scintilla” but “less than a
preponderance.” Desrosiers v. Sec. of Health and
Hum. Services, 846 F.2d 573, 576 (9th Cir. 1988).
district court must consider the record as a whole, weighing
both the evidence that supports and detracts from the
Commissioner's conclusion. Green v. Heckler, 803
F.2d 528, 530 (9th Cir. 1986). The Court may reject the
findings not supported by the record, but it may not
substitute its findings for those of the Commissioner.
Tackett v. Apfel, 180 F.3d 1094, 1098 (9th Cir.
claimant is disabled for purposes of the Social Security Act
if the claimant demonstrates by a preponderance of the
evidence that (1) the claimant has a “medically
determinable physical or mental impairment which can be
expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be
expected to last for a continuous period of not less than
twelve months”; and (2) the impairment or impairments
are of such severity that, considering the claimant's
age, education, and work experience, the claimant is not only
unable to perform previous work but also cannot “engage
in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in
the national economy.” Schneider v. Comm'r of
Soc. Sec. Admin., 223 F.3d 968, 974 (9th Cir. 2000)
(citing 42 U.S.C. §1382(a)(3)(A)-(B)).
Social Security Administration regulations provide a
five-step sequential evaluation process for determining
whether a claimant is disabled. Bustamante v.
Massanari, 262 F.3d 949, 953 (9th Cir. 2001); 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520, 416.920. The claimant bears the burden
of proof for steps one through four, and the Commissioner
bears the burden of proof for step five. Id. at
954. The five steps of the inquiry are:
1. Is the claimant presently working in a substantially
gainful activity? If so, the claimant is not disabled within
the meaning of the Social Security Act. If not, proceed to
step two. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(b),
2. Is the claimant's impairment severe? If so, proceed to
step three. If not, the claimant is not disabled.
See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(c), 416.920(c).
3. Does the impairment “meet or equal” one of a
list of specific impairments described in 20 C.F.R. Part 220,
Appendix 1? If so, the claimant is disabled. If not, proceed
to step four. See 20 C.F.R. §§
4. Is the claimant able to do any work that he or she has
done in the past? If so, the claimant is not disabled. If
not, proceed to step five. See 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(e), 416.920(e).
5. Is the claimant able to do any other work? If so, the
claimant is not disabled. If not, the claimant is disabled.
See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(f), 416.920(f).