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.

Eddie Morales v. Michael J. Astrue

May 4, 2011

EDDIE MORALES, 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

Eddie Morales filed this action on January 19, 2010. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), the parties consented to proceed before the magistrate judge on February 2 and 19, 2010. (Dkt. Nos. 8, 9.) On October 26, 2010, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation ("JS") that addressed the disputed issues. The Court has taken the matter under submission without oral argument.

Having reviewed the entire file, the Court affirms the decision of the Commissioner.

I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On June 30, 2006, Morales filed an application for supplemental security income benefits alleging an onset date of June 30, 2006. Administrative Record ("AR") 8. The application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. AR 31-32. Morales requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). On April 16, 2009, the ALJ conducted a hearing by video at which Morales did not appear but was represented by counsel, and a vocational expert ("VE") testified. AR 22-30. On May 20, 2009, the ALJ issued a decision denying benefits. AR 5-14. On December 15, 2009, the Appeals Council denied the request for review. AR 1-3. This action followed.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court reviews the Commissioner's decision to deny benefits. The decision will be disturbed only if it is not supported by substantial evidence, or if 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).

"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. In 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. When the evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, the Court must defer to the Commissioner's decision. Moncada, 60 F.3d at 523. ///

III. DISCUSSION

A. Disability

A person qualifies as disabled, and thereby eligible for such benefits, "only if his physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such severity that he is not only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy." Barnhart v. Thomas, 540 U.S. 20, 21-22, 124 S. Ct. 376, 157 L. Ed. 2d 333 (2003).

B. The ALJ's Findings

The ALJ found that Morales has the severe impairment of "substance-induced mood disorder." AR 10. Morales has the residual functional capacity ("RFC") to perform a "full range of work at all exertional levels but with the following non-exertional limitations: the claimant is limited to simple, repetitive work that does not require any interaction with the public or exposure to active hazards such as heights or moving equipment." AR 12. Morales has no past relevant work. Id. However, "there are jobs that ...


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.