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.

Debra Brigham v. Michael J. Astrue

August 10, 2011

DEBRA BRIGHAM, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying her applications for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act ("Act"). For the reasons that follow, plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED, the Commissioner's Cross Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED, and the Clerk is directed to enter judgment for the Commissioner.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, born December 2, 1957, applied on August 18, 2006 for disability benefits. (Tr. at 78, 10.) Plaintiff alleged she was unable to work due to carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoporosis, broken vertebrae, anxiety and agoraphobia. (Tr. at 109.) Plaintiff's SSI application was denied initially due to excessive resources, and plaintiff has not sought review of that decision. (Id. at 10.)*fn1 Thus, the critical dates in this case used to assess disability revolve not around the date of plaintiff's SSI application, but her eligibility expiration for Social Security Disability benefits, i.e., December 31, 1996. In a decision addressing the denial of plaintiff's DIB application, dated July 25, 2008, ALJ Theodore T. N. Slocum made the following findings:*fn2

1. The claimant last met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act on December 31, 1996.

2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period from her alleged onset date of October 31, 1991 through her date last insured of December 31, 1996 (20 CFR 404.1520(b) and 404.1571 et seq.).

3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the following medical determinable impairments: carpal tunnel syndrome, back, osteoporosis, tendonitis in both hands, wrists, and left leg, bursitis, arthritis, nervous seizures and nervous breakdown, rotator cuff, Reynard's syndrome, pain from fingertips to neck, numbness, tingling, and severe migraines, broken spine, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, agoraphobia and possible bipolar (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).

4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that significantly limited her ability to perform basic work-related activities for 12 consecutive months; therefore, the claimant did not have a severe impairment or combination of impairments (20 CFR 404.1521).

5. The claimant was not under a disability as defined in the Social Security Act, at any time from October 31, 1991, the alleged onset date, through December 31, 1996, the date last insured (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).

6. (Tr. at 12-17.) ISSUES PRESENTED

Plaintiff has raised the following issues: A. Whether the ALJ Erred in Finding that Plaintiff's Impairments did not Meet or Equal the Listings; and B. Whether the ALJ's Finding that Plaintiff was not Credible was not Supported by the Evidence or the Requirements of SSR 96-7p.

LEGAL STANDARDS

The court reviews the Commissioner's decision to determine whether (1) it is based on proper legal standards pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), and (2) substantial evidence in the record as a whole supports it. Tackett v. Apfel, 180 F.3d 1094, 1097 (9th Cir.1999). Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla, but less than a preponderance. Connett v. Barnhart, 340 F.3d 871, 873 (9th Cir. 2003) (citation omitted). It means "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Orn v. Astrue, 495 F.3d 625, 630 (9th Cir. 2007), quoting Burch v. Barnhart, 400 F.3d 676, 679 (9th Cir. 2005). "The ALJ is responsible for determining credibility, resolving conflicts in medical testimony, and resolving ambiguities." Edlund v. Massanari, 253 F.3d 1152, 1156 (9th Cir. 2001) ...


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.