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Sanchez v. Secretary of Health and Human Serv

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Mar 9, 1987
812 F.2d 509 (9th Cir. 1987)

Summary

holding that the applicant lacked good cause to remand for consideration of two psychological examinations prepared after the applicant's disability determination when his attorney knew of the applicant's memory loss but failed to explain why the applicant had not requested a mental evaluation or pressed his mental impairment claim at the hearing before the ALJ

Summary of this case from Mayes v. Massanari

Opinion

No. 86-5711.

Argued and Submitted January 5, 1987.

Decided March 9, 1987.

Martin Taller, Anaheim, Cal., for plaintiff-appellant.

Nancy E. Wever, San Francisco, Cal., for defendant-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Before WALLACE, WIGGINS and KOZINSKI, Circuit Judges.


Cristobal Sanchez appeals from the district court's summary judgment denying him disability or supplemental security income benefits under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301-1397f. The district court held that substantial evidence supported the determination of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) that Sanchez was not disabled under 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A) and 1382c(a)(3)(A). Sanchez argues that the Secretary's decision lacks substantial evidence and that the district court erred in failing to remand to the Secretary for review of new evidence. We affirm.

In reviewing the denial of disability benefits, we will affirm if the Secretary's findings are supported by substantial evidence and the Secretary applied the correct legal standards. Allen v. Secretary of Health Human Serv., 726 F.2d 1470, 1472 (9th Cir. 1984). Sanchez bears the initial burden of establishing disability by showing that a physical or mental impairment prevents him from engaging in any of his previous occupations. Id.

In finding Sanchez could perform light work, the Secretary rejected the opinion of Sanchez's treating physician, Dr. Dannis, that Sanchez was disabled as a result of his back condition. The Secretary must explain why he has rejected uncontroverted medical evidence, but can resolve disputes in contradicted medical evidence. Vincent ex rel. Vincent v. Heckler, 739 F.2d 1393, 1395 (9th Cir. 1984). Dr. Dannis's opinion was substantially contradicted. Two consulting physicians, an orthopedist and a neurologist, examined Sanchez and were of the opinion that his back condition was not so severe that he could not do light work. Dr. Dannis himself described Sanchez's condition as "limited in physical activities that would involve prolonged standing, walking, or bending." In finding Sanchez permanently disabled, Dr. Dannis relied on non-medical factors — Sanchez's age and lack of formal education making reentry into the job market difficult — which the doctor was not qualified to consider. There is substantial evidence that Sanchez is not disabled from performing light work.

The Secretary also found that Sanchez's light work restriction did not prevent him from working as a service station operator, one of his previous occupations. Because Sanchez was able to return to past work despite his disability, the Secretary found Sanchez failed to satisfy his burden of showing he was unable to return to a previous occupation. See Allen, 726 F.2d at 1472. Sanchez argues that there is no substantial evidence that his prior gas station work is light work. We disagree. The secretary may determine the physical demands of former work by comparison to that generally required in the national economy for that work. Orlando v. Heckler, 776 F.2d 209, 215 (7th Cir. 1985). As Sanchez described it, his former gas station work consisted of collecting money and pumping gas. The government classifies this type of work (automobile-service-station attendant) as light work. Employment Training Admin., U.S. Dep't of Labor, Dictionary of Occupational Titles § 915.477-010 (4th ed. 1977); Employment Training Admin., U.S. Dep't of Labor, Selected Characteristics of Occupations Defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles 254 app. A (1981).

Sanchez asks the court to remand for consideration of new evidence consisting of two psychological evaluations prepared after the Secretary issued a final decision denying benefits on the present application. The examinations were arranged as part of Sanchez's subsequent application in 1983 for social security disability benefits. Both reports state that Sanchez may have an organic brain disorder, manifested by memory loss and speech problems. In seeking remand, Sanchez must show that there is: (1) new evidence that is material, and (2) good cause for his failure to incorporate that evidence into the administrative record. Allen, 726 F.2d at 1473; 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

Sanchez has failed to show that the new evidence is material to and probative of his condition as it existed at the relevant time — at or before the disability hearing. See 42 U.S.C. § 416(i)(2)(G). Sanchez argues that the evidence is material under Burton v. Heckler, 724 F.2d 1415 (9th Cir. 1984). In Burton, the claimant Burton's psychological condition was an issue before the administrative law judge (ALJ). Id. at 1417. The new evidence showed deterioration in Burton's mental condition due to long-term alcohol addiction. The ALJ had considered Burton's alcoholism at the hearing. Id. The court held that Burton's psychological condition linked to alcoholism was "squarely before" the Secretary, and thus the evidence of later mental deterioration was probative of Burton's condition at the hearing. Id. By contrast, Sanchez's mental condition was not significantly at issue at the hearing. He reported some loss of concentration, depression and anxiety as a result of his back condition. Sanchez's complaints do not suggest he suffered from a disabling mental impairment at the time of the hearing such as that caused by the long-term alcoholism in Burton. The new evidence indicates, at most, mental deterioration after the hearing, which would be material to a new application, but not probative of his condition at the hearing. Ward v. Schweiker, 686 F.2d 762, 765-66 (9th Cir. 1982).

Sanchez has also not shown good cause for his failure to seek psychiatric evaluation earlier in the proceedings. An attorney represented Sanchez at the hearing. Although the reports were not prepared until after the Secretary rendered a final decision, Sanchez's attorney was aware of Sanchez's memory loss at the time of the hearing. Sanchez offers no explanation for his failure to request a mental evaluation or to press his mental impairment claim at or before the hearing. See Allen, 726 F.2d at 1473.

Sanchez has followed the correct procedure by reapplying for benefits. See Ward, 686 F.2d at 765-66. If he can now prove a disabling physical or mental impairment, he will be entitled to benefits as of the date of the new application.

The decision of the district court affirming the denial of disability benefits for Sanchez is AFFIRMED.


Summaries of

Sanchez v. Secretary of Health and Human Serv

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Mar 9, 1987
812 F.2d 509 (9th Cir. 1987)

holding that the applicant lacked good cause to remand for consideration of two psychological examinations prepared after the applicant's disability determination when his attorney knew of the applicant's memory loss but failed to explain why the applicant had not requested a mental evaluation or pressed his mental impairment claim at the hearing before the ALJ

Summary of this case from Mayes v. Massanari

holding that the applicant lacked good cause to remand for consideration of two psychological examinations prepared after the applicant's disability determination when his attorney knew of the applicant's memory loss but failed to explain why the applicant had not requested a mental evaluation or pressed his mental impairment claim at the hearing before the ALJ

Summary of this case from Mayes v. Massanari

holding evidence of "mental deterioration after the hearing ... would be material to a new application, but not probative of [claimant's] condition at the hearing"

Summary of this case from Nora D. v. Saul

holding that the applicant lacked good cause to remand for consideration of two psychological examinations prepared after the applicant's disability determination when his attorney knew of the applicant's memory loss but failed to explain why the applicant had not requested a mental evaluation or pressed his mental impairment claim at the hearing before the ALJ

Summary of this case from Meyer v. Berryhill

holding that the applicant lacked good cause to remand for consideration of two psychological examinations prepared after the applicant's disability determination when the attorney knew of the applicant's memory loss but failed to explain why the applicant had not requested a mental evaluation or pressed his mental impairment claim at the hearing before ALJ

Summary of this case from Canales v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec. Admin.

holding that the applicant lacked good cause to remand for consideration of two psychological examinations prepared after the applicant's disability determination when his attorney knew of the applicant's memory loss but failed to explain why the applicant had not requested a mental evaluation earlier

Summary of this case from Ramirez v. Berryhill

holding that the applicant lacked good cause to remand for consideration of two psychological examinations prepared after the applicant's disability determination when his attorney knew of the applicant's memory loss but failed to explain why the applicant had not requested a mental evaluation or pressed his mental impairment claim at the hearing before the ALJ

Summary of this case from Garst v. Berryhill

holding that the applicant lacked good cause to remand for consideration of two psychological examinations prepared after the applicant's disability determination when the attorney knew of the applicant's memory loss but failed to explain why the applicant had not requested a mental evaluation or pressed his mental impairment claim at the hearing before ALJ

Summary of this case from Fry v. Berryhill

holding that the applicant lacked good cause to remand for consideration of two psychological examinations prepared after the applicant's disability determination when the attorney knew of the applicant's memory loss but failed to explain why the applicant had not requested a mental evaluation or pressed his mental impairment claim at the hearing before ALJ

Summary of this case from Breitenstein v. Colvin

holding that new evidence was not material because it related to a medical condition not significantly at issue at time of hearing

Summary of this case from Mundy v. Astrue

holding that new evidence was not material because it related to a medical condition not significantly at issue at time of hearing

Summary of this case from McClain v. Astrue

holding that new evidence was not material because it related to a medical condition not significantly at issue at time of hearing

Summary of this case from McClain v. Astrue

holding that new evidence was not material because it related to a medical condition not significantly at issue at time of hearing

Summary of this case from RAEL v. ASTRUE

holding that a claimant represented by counsel could not obtain reversal of the ALJ's decision on the ground that the ALJ failed to consider a particular impairment — even where the record before the ALJ contained some evidence of it — where the impairment was not significantly at issue and where the claimant offered no explanation for his failure to press the particular claim of impairment at or before the hearing

Summary of this case from Jones v. Astrue

holding that new evidence was not material because it related to a medical condition not significantly at issue at time of hearing

Summary of this case from McGee v. Astrue

holding that new evidence was not material because it related to a medical condition not significantly at issue at time of hearing

Summary of this case from Coulbourn v. Astrue

holding that new evidence was not material because it related to a medical condition not significantly at issue at time of hearing

Summary of this case from Mahan v. Astrue

holding that the applicant lacked good cause to remand for consideration of two psychological examinations prepared after the applicant's disability determination when his attorney knew of the applicant's memory loss but failed to explain why the applicant had not requested a mental evaluation or pressed his mental impairment claim at the hearing before the ALJ

Summary of this case from VOSE v. ASTRUE

holding party seeking remand must show "good cause for his failure to incorporate that evidence into the administrative record"

Summary of this case from Bourbon v. Barnhart

finding that evidence of deterioration after a hearing was not probative of the claimant's adjudicated condition

Summary of this case from Zuniga v. Colvin

finding failure to establish good cause where plaintiff had an attorney at the hearing who was aware of plaintiff's memory loss yet did not raise the issue

Summary of this case from Gilic v. Colvin

finding that new evidence submitted to the Appeals Council was not material to the ALJ's decision because it was probative of a mental condition "that was not significantly at issue at the hearing"

Summary of this case from Welch v. Astrue

rejecting consideration of new evidence of two psychological evaluations performed after the ALJ decision was made, because the evidence indicated, "at most, mental deterioration after the hearing, which would be material to a new application, but not probative to his condition at the hearing."

Summary of this case from Boone v. Astrue

resolving disputes in evidence

Summary of this case from Hamilton v. Secretary of Health Human Serv

In Sanchez, the court concluded that the new evidence in question was not material because it indicated "at most, mental deterioration after the hearing, which would be material to a new application, but not probative of his condition at the hearing."

Summary of this case from Abdullah v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec.
Case details for

Sanchez v. Secretary of Health and Human Serv

Case Details

Full title:CRISTOBAL SANCHEZ, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, v. SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN…

Court:United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Date published: Mar 9, 1987

Citations

812 F.2d 509 (9th Cir. 1987)

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