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Maxine Ollie v. Michael J. Astrue

March 28, 2012

MAXINE OLLIE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Oswald Parada United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

The Court now rules as follows with respect to the disputed issue listed in *fn1 the Joint Stipulation ("JS").*fn2

-cv-02483-OP Document 22 Filed 03/28/12 Page 2 of 5 Page ID #:296

I. DISPUTED ISSUE

As reflected in the Joint Stipulation, the disputed issue raised by Plaintiff as the ground for reversal and/or remand is whether the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") properly propounded a complete hypothetical to the vocational expert ("VE"). (JS at 4.)

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court reviews the Commissioner's decision to determine whether the Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial evidence and whether the proper legal standards were applied. DeLorme v. Sullivan, 924 F.2d 841, 846 (9th Cir. 1991). Substantial evidence means "more than a mere scintilla" but less than a preponderance. Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401, 91 S. Ct. 1420, 28 L. Ed. 2d 842 (1971); Desrosiers v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 846 F.2d 573, 575-76 (9th Cir. 1988). Substantial evidence is "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Richardson, 402 U.S. at 401 (citation omitted). The Court must review the record as a whole and consider adverse as well as supporting evidence. Green v. Heckler, 803 F.2d 528, 529-30 (9th Cir. 1986). Where evidence is susceptible of more than one rational interpretation, the Commissioner's decision must be upheld. Gallant v. Heckler, 753 F.2d 1450, 1452 (9th Cir. 1984).

III. DISCUSSION

A. The ALJ's Findings.

Plaintiff filed claims for a period of disability, disability insurance benefits, and supplemental security income under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. (JS at 2.) On May 8, 2009, the ALJ denied Plaintiff's claims. (Id.)

The ALJ found that Plaintiff had severe impairments of hypertension, lumbar spondylosis, bilateral knee pain, and bilateral elbow epicondylitis and was unable to perform any of her past relevant work. (Administrative Record ("AR") at 14, 16.) However, after considering the entire record, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff had the residual functional capacity ("RFC") to perform alternative light work:

[T]he claimant can lift and carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; sit, stand, and walk 6 hours in an 8-hour workday, with a sit/stand option every hour to stretch or sit for a few minutes; occasionally climb, balance, stoop, crouch, crawl, and kneel; and cannot use her hands on a repetitive basis. (Id. at 14.)

Based on the testimony of the VE, the ALJ found that Plaintiff could perform the jobs of office helper and ...


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