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Pardip S. Uppal v. Michael J. Astrue

September 26, 2011

PARDIP S. UPPAL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S SOCIAL SECURITY COMPLAINT

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Pardip Uppal ("Plaintiff") seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner" or "Defendant") denying his application for disability benefits and supplemental security income pursuant to Title II and Title XVI of the Social Security Act. The matter is currently before the Court on the parties' briefs, which were submitted, without oral argument, to the Honorable Gary S. Austin, United States Magistrate Judge.*fn1

FACTS AND PRIOR PROCEEDINGS*fn2

Plaintiff filed his application on or about February 12, 2007, alleging disability beginning January 13, 1997. AR 102-112. His application was denied initially on April 24, 2007, and upon reconsideration on August 20, 2007. AR 8, 65, 68-71. Thereafter, Plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). AR 79. ALJ Howard Treblin held a hearing on May 23, 2008 (AR 33-63), and issued an order denying benefits on March 2, 2009. AR 8-19. Plaintiff requested a review of the hearing and the Appeals Council denied review on May 11, 2010. AR 1-3.

Hearing Testimony

ALJ Treblin held a hearing on May 23, 2008. AR 33-63. Plaintiff testified and was represented by Mr. Neill, an attorney.*fn3 AR 35. Plaintiff's wife also testified. A vocational expert was not present.

Plaintiff's Testimony

Plaintiff is forty years old. He lives in an apartment with his wife and two children, ages nine and seven. AR 42. He received his GED after completing the eleventh grade. AR 36, 51. He has a drivers license but usually his wife drives because he takes psychiatric medications. AR 36.

Previously, Plaintiff worked at Foster Farms doing shipping and receiving. AR 37, 58-59. He worked there for twelve years but was fired in 1997 for insubordination. AR 58-59. After working at Foster Farm, Plaintiff worked as a security guard but was laid off after he refused to provide security at a Foster Farms company party because of his prior employment. AR 37. Plaintiff last worked as a security guard approximately six years ago. AR 37.

Plaintiff can no longer work because he was assaulted with a tire iron which resulted in significant injuries to his right leg, left forearm, and head. AR 38, 44-45, 47, 58. He underwent extensive surgeries, had a plate put into his right leg, and was in a wheelchair for approximately seven months after the incident. AR 46. In addition to these injuries, he has kidney stones, and he suffers from seizures, depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. AR 38, 53. He has difficulty sleeping at night because he hears evil voices in his head. AR 48. He also has memory difficulties and concentration problems. AR 38-39, 41-42. He sees his psychiatrist about twice a month and takes Seroquel, Depakote, Trazadone, and Buspirone. AR 39, 51. He does not suffer from any side effects from these medications except that the Seroquel makes him sleepy. AR 39, 51.

Plaintiff is able to lift ten to fifteen pounds, walk for three to five minutes, and sit comfortably for fifteen to thirty minutes. AR 38. However, he is unable to lift objects over his head, and he has problems bending, using his left hand, and dressing. AR 40-41. He is unable to do household chores or shopping and can no longer write with his left hand. AR 45-46. During the day, he lays on the sofa, takes naps, eats, and watches television. AR 54-55. In the past, Plaintiff took methamphetamine. He last used the drug in 2000. AR 38.

Plaintiff's Wife Testimony

Mrs. Uppal testified briefly regarding her relationship with her husband. She reported that Plaintiff wakes up in the middle of the night and hits her and pulls her hair. He also sometimes does this while he is awake. She keeps track of his appointments for him ...


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