927 F.2d 612
NOTICE: Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3 provides that dispositions other than opinions or orders designated for publication are not precedential and should not be cited except when relevant under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel.
Margaret KIEFER, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Louis W. SULLIVAN, M.D., Secretary of Health and Human
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Submitted Feb. 19, 1991.*
Decided March 1, 1991.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, No. CV-87-1245-E; William B. Enright, District Judge, Presiding.
Before EUGENE A. WRIGHT, GOODWIN and SKOPIL, Circuit Judges.
Margaret Kiefer appeals a judgment affirming the Secretary of Health and Human Services' decision that Kiefer was not entitled to disability benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1305 (1988) and that she was not entitled to Supplemental Security Income disability benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act.
Substantial evidence supports the Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ) determination that Kiefer is not disabled. See Desrosiers v. Secretary of Health & Human Services, 846 F.2d 573, 575-76 (9th Cir.1988); Magallenes v. Bowen, 881 F.2d 747, 750 (9th Cir.1989). The ALJ relied upon the medical records and conclusions of Kiefer's treating physicians and of the medical examiners hired by the Department of Health and Human Services in evaluating the medical problems experienced by Kiefer. The ALJ accepted the findings of Kiefer's treating physicians in nearly all respects except as to the ultimate conclusion that Kiefer was disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act.
The ALJ found that Kiefer suffered from an "anxiety disorder with generalized persistent anxiety and a personality disorder with persistent disturbances of motor affect and pathological dependence, passivity or aggressivity, as well as intense and unstable interpersonal relationships and impulsive and damaging behavior." In plain English, she had emotional problems that kept her productivity less than optimal.
The ALJ found nevertheless that primarily object-oriented jobs in non-supervisory positions were within Kiefer's abilities. The ALJ concluded that although Kiefer's treating psychiatrist, E.C. Culbertson, M.D., "diagnose[d] dysthymic life adjustment disorder and borderline personality, with panic attacks," and believed that Kiefer cannot provide for her self support, nonetheless, "[a]ll things considered, [Kiefer] has not been disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act at any time through the date of this decision."
The ALJ cited October 1985 outpatient records from County Mental Health Services, where Dr. Culbertson works, which state that "[Kiefer] was obviously manipulating so as to obtain Valium." The ALJ also pointed out that in 1985 Dr. Culbertson concluded that Kiefer's main problem "is a malignant dependency syndrome." The ALJ noted that although Dr. Culbertson believed that Kiefer could not work, he "present[ed] a prognosis of fair to poor for employment and socialization" and stated that she "has a lifestyle geared to [Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) ], nonwork, and negative outlook." The ALJ also noted that the report of a consultative examiner, Sabah Chammas, M.D., in January 1986 found that Kiefer was "fully oriented, cognitive powers were intact, [and] there was no paranoid ideation."
The ALJ concluded Kiefer was able to perform janitorial work, an occupation in which she had previously engaged. Thus, although he did not explicitly so state, it appears that the ALJ found that Kiefer failed to establish a prima facie case of disability by proving that she could not engage in her past work. See Swenson v. Sullivan, 876 F.2d 683, 687 (9th Cir.1989).
The Secretary has the final responsibility for determining a claimant's disability status. See 20 C.F.R. Sec. 404.1527 (1987). In rejecting the conclusion that Kiefer was disabled, the ALJ concluded from the evidence that Kiefer was able to perform a job which she had previously performed. See Lombardo v. Schweiker, 749 F.2d 565, 566-67 (9th Cir.1984). Therefore, the decision of the Secretary is affirmed. See Magallenes, 881 F.2d at 751.
The panel unanimously finds this case suitable for submission on the record and briefs and without oral argument. Fed.R.App.P. 34(a); Ninth Circuit Rule 34-4
This disposition is not appropriate for publication and may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3