Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lewis v. Astrue

March 31, 2009

NORRIS KAYE LEWIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jennifer T. Lum United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

PROCEEDINGS

On June 19, 2008, Norris Kaye Lewis ("plaintiff") filed a Complaint seeking review of the Social Security Administration's denial of her applications for Supplemental Security Income benefits and Disability Insurance Benefits. On July 8, 2008, plaintiff filed a Consent to Proceed Before United States Magistrate Judge Jennifer T. Lum. On August 10, 2008, Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security ("defendant"), filed a Consent to Proceed Before United States Magistrate Judge Jennifer T. Lum. Thereafter, on January 5, 2009, defendant filed an Answer to the Complaint. On March 18, 2009, the parties filed their Joint Stipulation.

The matter is now ready for decision.

BACKGROUND

On July 28, 2006, plaintiff protectively filed applications for Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits alleging an onset date of January 15, 2005, due to seizures, back pain, and high blood pressure. (See Administrative Record ["AR"] at 52, 92-94, 95-99, 112). The Commissioner denied plaintiff's applications for benefits initially on November 1, 2006. (AR at 50-53). Thereafter, plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). (AR at 59).

On December 4, 2007, the ALJ conducted a hearing in Los Angeles, California. (See AR at 22-49). Plaintiff appeared at the hearing with counsel and testified. (AR at 24, 30-44). A medical expert, Harvey Alprin, M.D., and a vocational expert, Heidi Paul, also testified at the hearing. (AR at 25-29, 44-48). On January 11, 2008, the ALJ issued a decision denying benefits to plaintiff. (AR at 13-19). In his decision, the ALJ determined that plaintiff had the following severe impairments: headaches, neck pain, and a history of seizure disorder and urinary incontinence and hypertension. (AR at 16). The ALJ determined that plaintiff did not have a medically determinable mental impairment that caused more than minimal limitations. (Id.). The ALJ also determined that plaintiff did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meet or equal the criteria contained in the Commissioner's Listing of Impairments, 20 C.F.R. Section 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. (Id.). The ALJ then concluded that plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity to perform medium work,*fn1 including her past relevant work as an office clerk routine, change person, income tax preparer, fast food worker, attendance clerk, and a general office clerk. (AR at 16-17, 18-19). Accordingly, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff was not disabled from January 15, 2005, the alleged disability onset date, through the date of his decision. (AR at 13, 19). The Appeals Council denied plaintiff's timely request for review of the ALJ's decision. (See AR at 6, 9).

Thereafter, plaintiff appealed to the United States District Court.

PLAINTIFF'S CONTENTIONS

Plaintiff makes the following claims:

1. The ALJ failed to properly consider the consultative psychological evaluation.

2. The ALJ failed to pose a complete hypothetical to the vocational expert.

3. The ALJ failed to establish that plaintiff was capable of performing work as a change person, income tax preparer, fast food worker, attendance clerk and a general office clerk.

4. The ALJ failed to properly consider the type, dosage, effectiveness, and side effects of plaintiff's medication.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Under 42 U.S.C. Section 405(g), this Court reviews the ALJ's decision to determine whether the ALJ's findings are supported by substantial evidence and whether the proper legal standards were applied. DeLorme v. Sullivan, 924 F.2d 841, 846 (9th Cir. 1991). Substantial evidence means "more than a mere scintilla" but less than a preponderance. Richardson ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.