The opinion of the court was delivered by: VICTOR B. Kenton United States Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER (Social Security Case)
This matter is before the Court for review of the decision by the Commissioner of Social Security denying Plaintiff's application for disability benefits. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(c), the parties have consented that the case may be handled by the Magistrate Judge. The action arises under 42 U.S.C. §405(g), which authorizes the Court to enter judgment upon the pleadings and transcript of the record before the Commissioner. The parties have filed the Joint Stipulation ("JS"), and the Commissioner has filed the certified Administrative Record ("AR").
Plaintiff raises the following issues:
1. Whether the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") properly complied with SSR 96-7p regarding the type, dosage, effectiveness and side effects of medications;
2. Whether the ALJ properly considered the treating clinician's opinion;
3. Whether the ALJ posed a complete hypothetical question to the vocational expert; and
4. Whether the ALJ properly considered Plaintiff's ability to perform past relevant work as actually performed.
This Memorandum Opinion will constitute the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law. After reviewing the matter, the Court concludes that the decision of the Commissioner must be affirmed.
I. THE ALJ DID NOT COMMIT ERROR REGARDING ASSERTED SIDE EFFECTS OF MEDICATIONS
Plaintiff asserts that in a Disability Report - Appeal form, he reported that the Seroquel medication prescribed to him made him feel "tired, drowsy [and] disoriented." (AR 135, 144.) He also notes that while incarcerated with the California Department of Corrections, he at one point complained of being over-sedated with Seroquel during the day. (AR 169.) As a result, his Seroquel medication was decreased. (Id.)
The ALJ considered the fact that Plaintiff stated he takes Seroquel, among other medications. (AR 12.) No finding was made, however, concerning any negative side effects of this medication.
Plaintiff received a complete psychiatric evaluation ("CE") on September 29, 2006 at the request of the Department of Social Security Disability and Adult Programs, from Dr. Smith. (AR 238-246.) During that examination, Plaintiff stated that he takes Seroquel, but when he showed the Seroquel bottle to the examiner, the seal was still on the neck and it had not been opened. Plaintiff could not explain that, but said that this medication helps sometimes. Plaintiff made no complaint about any side effects of Seroquel. (AR 240.)
Progress notes of the California Department of Corrections indicate that Plaintiff was doing well on his medications, and indeed indicated that they ...