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.

Villamar-Stevenson v. Astrue

June 22, 2009

ERMA J. VILLAMAR-STEVENSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Alicia G. Rosenberg United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Erma J. Villamar-Stevenson ("Plaintiff") filed this action on June 19, 2008. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), the parties filed Consents to proceed before Magistrate Judge Rosenberg on July 22 and 23, 2008. On February 18, 2009, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation ("J.S.") that addressed the disputed issues. The Commissioner filed the certified administrative record (A.R.). The Court took the matter under submission without oral argument.

Having reviewed the entire file, the Court affirms the Commissioner's decision.

I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On January 2, 2004, Plaintiff filed an application for Disability Insurance benefits. A.R. 11. The Commissioner denied the applications initially and upon reconsideration, and Plaintiff requested a hearing. Id. The Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") conducted a hearing on November 30, 2005. A.R. 465-498. On March 14, 2006, the ALJ issued a decision denying benefits. A.R. 8-18.

Plaintiff filed a request for review of the ALJ decision. A.R. 6-7. On September 22, 2006, the Appeals Council denied the request for review. A.R. 3-5.

On August 15, 2007, this Court remanded the matter to the Commissioner for further proceedings. The ALJ was instructed "to address whether Plaintiff's work as a telerecruiter qualifies as past relevant work and to clarify or correct findings as to whether Plaintiff is capable of performing past relevant work as a home attendant."

A.R. 541.

On remand, the Appeals Council vacated the ALJ's final decision and remanded the case to the ALJ for further proceedings. A.R. 544. The ALJ conducted a hearing on February 13, 2008. A.R. 576-603. On March 27, 2008, the ALJ issued a decision denying benefits. A.R. 502-513. Plaintiff requested review of the ALJ's decision. A.R. 501. As of approximately, May 27, 2008, the ALJ's decision became the final decision of the Commissioner. J.S. at 3. This lawsuit followed.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court has authority to review the Commissioner's decision to deny benefits. The decision will be disturbed only if it is not supported by substantial evidence or it is based upon the application of improper legal standards. Moncada v. Chater, 60 F.3d 521, 523 (9th Cir. 1995); Drouin v. Sullivan, 966 F.2d 1255, 1257 (9th Cir. 1992).

In this context, "substantial evidence" means "more than a mere scintilla but less than a preponderance -- it is such relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support the conclusion." Moncada, 60 F.3d at 523. When determining whether substantial evidence exists to support the Commissioner's decision, the Court examines the administrative record as a whole, considering adverse as well as supporting evidence. Drouin, 966 F.2d at 1257. Where the evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, the Court must defer to the decision of the Commissioner. Moncada, 60 F.3d at 523.

III. EVALUATION OF ...


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.