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Parker v. Astrue

May 26, 2009

EDNA E. PARKER, 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 July 1, 2008, Edna E. Parker ("plaintiff") filed a Complaint seeking review of the Social Security Administration's denial of her application for Disability Insurance Benefits. On July 30, 2008, Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security ("defendant"), filed a Consent to Proceed Before United States Magistrate Judge Jennifer T. Lum. On July 31, 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 April 24, 2009, the parties filed their Joint Stipulation.

The matter is now ready for decision.

BACKGROUND

On September 26, 2005, plaintiff filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits alleging a disability onset date of September 1, 2004. (See Administrative Record ["AR"] at 19). The Commissioner denied plaintiff's application for benefits. (AR at 43-47). Thereafter, plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). (AR at 41, 42).

On April 11, 2007, the ALJ conducted a hearing in West Los Angeles, California. (See AR at 301-23). Plaintiff appeared at the hearing with counsel and testified. (AR at 305-17). Lynne Tracey, a vocational expert, also testified at the hearing. (AR at 317-21; see AR at 37-38). On September 28, 2007, the ALJ issued a decision denying benefits to plaintiff. (AR at 19-28). The ALJ determined that plaintiff had the following severe impairments: status post right ulnar nerve release at the elbow in 1999, status post right median nerve release at the elbow in 2000, status post right epicondylectomy in 2001, history of cervical spine disc degeneration, and marked narrowing at the L4-5 interspace. (AR at 21). The ALJ found that plaintiff's conditions did not meet or equal any of the impairments contained in the Listing of Impairments (see 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1). The ALJ determined that plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity to perform a limited range of light work.*fn1 (AR at 21-27). The ALJ found that plaintiff was capable of performing her past relevant work as a working supervisor. (AR at 27-28). Accordingly, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff was not disabled at any time from September 1, 2004, plaintiff's alleged disability onset date, through the date of the decision. (AR at 28). The Appeals Council denied plaintiff's timely request for review of the ALJ's decision. (AR at 4-6).

Thereafter, plaintiff appealed to the United States District Court.

PLAINTIFF'S CONTENTIONS

Plaintiff makes the following claims:

1. The ALJ failed to properly evaluate plaintiff's credibility.

2. The ALJ failed to give proper weight to the opinion of Dr. Nagelberg, plaintiff's treating physician.

3. The ALJ failed to make sufficient findings regarding plaintiff's past relevant work ...


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