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Crawford v. Astrue

November 5, 2009

GLYNN M. CRAWFORD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Oswald Parada United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION; ORDER

The Court*fn1 now rules as follows with respect to the disputed issues listed in the Joint Stipulation ("JS").*fn2

I. DISPUTED ISSUES

As reflected in the Joint Stipulation, the disputed issues which Plaintiff raises as the grounds for reversal and/or remand are as follows:

1. Whether the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") properly determined that Plaintiff can perform her past relevant work; and

2. Whether the ALJ properly evaluated the opinion of the treating physician.

(JS at 3.)

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court reviews the Commissioner's decision to determine whether the Commissioner'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 v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401, 91 S.Ct. 1420, 28 L.Ed. 2d 842 (1971); Desrosiers v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 846 F.2d 573, 575-76 (9th Cir. 1988). Substantial evidence is "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Richardson, 402 U.S. at 401 (citation omitted). The Court must review the record as a whole and consider adverse as well as supporting evidence. Green v. Heckler, 803 F.2d 528, 529-30 (9th Cir. 1986). Where evidence is susceptible of more than one rational interpretation, the Commissioner's decision must be upheld. Gallant v. Heckler, 753 F.2d 1450, 1452 (9th Cir. 1984).

III. DISCUSSION

A. The ALJ Properly Determined Plaintiff Can Perform Her Past Relevant Work

Plaintiff argues that the ALJ erroneously determined Plaintiff was capable of performing her past relevant work because the ALJ failed to determine whether she could perform the work as it was actually or generally performed. (JS at 3-7.)*fn3

The Court disagrees.

1. Background

In his disability application, Plaintiff requested disability benefits due to her high blood pressure, rapid heartbeats, chest pain, headaches, and cyst in her left hand. (AR at 42, 92.) Plaintiff also reported she worked as a domestic engineer/cook, flat sorter, cafeteria helper, food server, and head chef. (Id. at 92, 116-18.) As a domestic engineer/cook, her primary duties included "weekly menu schedule, food preparation, cooking, and general house keeping." (Id. at 93-94, 116, 118.) Her duties as a flat sorter included operating the flat sorter machine and making sure the machine's computer was updated by inputting information. (Id. at 22, 116, 118, ) As a cafeteria helper, she prepared hot meals and assisted with other, unspecified duties. (Id. at 116, 118) She prepared food trays and assisted in setting up food areas as a food server. (Id.) ...


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