The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff, who is proceeding with retained counsel, brings this action for judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Pursuant to the written consent of all parties, this case is before the undersigned as the presiding judge for all purposes, including entry of final judgment. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Pending before the court are plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 20) and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment (Doc. 26).
Plaintiff applied for social security benefits on May 11, 2006. In the application, plaintiff claims that disability began on May 31, 2000. Plaintiff claims that disability is caused by a combination of various physical and mental impairments. Plaintiff's claim was initially denied. Following denial of reconsideration, plaintiff requested an administrative hearing, which was held on December 4, 2007, before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Mark C. Ramsey. In a May 5, 2008, decision, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff is not disabled based on the following relevant findings:
1. The claimant has the following severe impairments: low back pain, secondary to lumbosacral strain with no evidence of radiculopathy; alcoholic liver disease with history of heavy alcohol abuse; leg pain status post gunshot wound; rule out malingering; rule out learning disorder not elsewhere specified; rule out post-traumatic stress disorder;
2. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that satisfy the regulations;
3. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform medium work requiring no greater than simple, unskilled work; and
4. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, the regulations establish that there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that claimant can perform.
After the Appeals Council declined review on June 14, 2008, this appeal followed.
II. SUMMARY OF THE EVIDENCE
The certified administrative record ("CAR") contains the following evidence, summarized chronologically below. Because plaintiff only raises issues relating to the ALJ's analysis of his mental impairment, the court need not summarize records relating to any other impairment.
August 10, 2001 -- Gary S. Rinzler, M.D., of Kaiser Permanente reported on an initial evaluation conducted for purposes of a disability assessment. The doctor provided the following history:
This 34-year-old gentleman is referred for evaluation of his disability, apparently the product of several areas of pain from a bullet removal in his leg, chronic low back pain, and vague neurocognitive complaints related to his chronic alcoholism, childhood developmental problems, concussions, etc.
Plaintiff told the doctor he drinks a case-and-a-half of beer daily for the past five years, though he also stated that he stopped drinking "about one year ago." Based on clinical data available at the time, Dr. Rinzler opined that plaintiff had "[n]o ...