The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today released an opinion in RYAN v. COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, No. 06-15291, an appeal in a civil action against the United States. The panel consisted of Betty B. Fletcher, William C. Canby, Jr., and Johnnie B. Rawlinson, Circuit Judges.
B. FLETCHER, Circuit Judge:
Plaintiff-Appellant Karen L. Ryan appeals the district court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of the Defendant-Appellee, upholding the Commissioner of Social Security’s decision denying her application for Title II disability benefits. The Administrative Law Judge (”ALJ”) did not give full weight to the opinions of two examining psychologists, characterizing their opinions as too heavily based on Ryan’s “subjective complaints,” and as being inconsistent with the records of Ryan’s treating physician, a family practitioner. There was no inconsistency. The records of Ryan’s treating physician, if anything, supported the examining psychologist’s assessment that Ryan was incapable of maintaining a regular work schedule. Because substantial evidence does not support the ALJ’s denial of disability benefits, we reverse. . . .
RAWLINSON, Circuit Judge, dissenting:
I respectfully dissent because, in my view, substantial evidence supports the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Unlike the majority, I am persuaded that the ALJ gave proper weight to the opinions of all medical providers. For purpose of this appeal, Social Security claimant Karen Ryan (Ryan) began visiting her treating physician, Dr. Monigatti-Lake regarding “her situation at work” on October 18, 1999. Ryan informed Dr. Monigatti-Lake that Ryan was on administrative leave following a random drug test during which she tested “positive for THC and apparently some amphetamines.” Dr. Monigatti-Lake diagnosed Ryan as experiencing a “stressful situation due to Ryan’s work difficulties,” which occurred “a couple of months” before “her 5 yr. retirement contract.” Although Ryan expressed optimism about continuing with her employment, it was not to be. Ryan was terminated, and visited Dr. Monigatti-Lake on December 14, 1999, complaining of feelings of immobility, panic attacks, [and] crying spells.” Ryan reported that Effexor she was taking was not. . .