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Kindle v. Astrue

May 20, 2009

DAVID KINDLE, 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 August 20, 2008, David Kindle ("plaintiff") filed a Complaint seeking review of the Social Security Administration's denial of his application for Supplemental Security Income benefits. On September 3, 2008, Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security ("defendant"), filed a Consent to Proceed Before United States Magistrate Judge Jennifer T. Lum. On September 16, 2008, plaintiff filed a Consent to Proceed Before United States Magistrate Judge Jennifer T. Lum. Thereafter, on December 29, 2008, defendant filed an Answer to the Complaint. On May 1, 2009, the parties filed their Joint Stipulation.

The matter is now ready for decision.

BACKGROUND

On May 25, 2006, plaintiff filed an application for Supplemental Security Income benefits alleging a disability onset date of April 1, 2002, due to back problems. (See Administrative Record ["AR"] at 45, 79). The Commissioner denied plaintiff's application for benefits both initially and upon reconsideration. (AR at 43, 44, 45, 54). Thereafter, plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). (AR at 59).

On January 7, 2008, the ALJ conducted a hearing in San Bernardino, California. (See AR at 9, 16-42). Plaintiff appeared at the hearing with counsel and testified. (AR at 19-39, 40-41). Corinne Porter, a vocational expert, also testified at the hearing. (AR at 35-37, 39-40, 41-42). On February 14, 2008, the ALJ issued a decision denying benefits to plaintiff. (AR at 9-15). In his decision, the ALJ determined that plaintiff had the following severe impairments: a disorder of the cervical spine, a disorder of the lumbar spine, and a disorder of the right leg. (AR at 11). The ALJ 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 determined that plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity to perform light work. (AR at 11-12). The ALJ found that plaintiff retained the ability to perform his past relevant work as a telephone technician. (AR at 14-15). Accordingly, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff had not been disabled since May 25, 2006, the date he filed his application for benefits. (AR at 9, 15). The Appeals Council denied plaintiff's timely request for review of the ALJ's decision. (See AR at 1, 5).

Thereafter, plaintiff appealed to the United States District Court.

PLAINTIFF'S CONTENTIONS

Plaintiff makes the following claims:

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

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

3. The ALJ failed to properly consider ...


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