Terry v. Saul, No. 19-56000 (9th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the denial of social security disability benefits to claimant. At issue is whether knowledge of the Social Security Administration's longstanding interpretation of the term "medium work" as requiring standing or walking for approximately six hours out of an eight-hour workday can be imputed to a qualified vocational expert.
The panel held that an expert in this field is presumptively aware of the agency's well-established definition of this term of art. Therefore, when the ALJ asked the expert in this case whether jobs existed for a hypothetical individual who was limited to medium work, that question adequately communicated the term's attendant standing and walking limitations. In this case, it follows that the expert's resulting testimony that a significant number of jobs existed in the national economy for an individual with claimant's limitations constituted substantial evidence in support of the ALJ's determination that he was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act.