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Richard Allen Young, et al v. Michael J. Astrue

March 30, 2012

RICHARD ALLEN YOUNG, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Jacqueline Chooljian United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

I. SUMMARY

On August 19, 2011, plaintiff Richard Allen Young ("plaintiff" or "plaintiff Young") filed a Complaint on behalf of himself and his minor child ("plaintiff M.J.Y."), seeking review of the Commissioner of Social Security's denial of applications for benefits from plaintiff Young ("plaintiff Young's application") and plaintiff M.J.Y. ("plaintiff M.J.Y.'s application") (collectively "plaintiffs' applications"). The parties have consented to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the parties' cross motions for summary judgment, respectively ("Plaintiffs' Motion") with attached exhibits ("Plaintiffs' Ex.") and ("Defendant's Motion"). The Court has taken both motions under submission without oral argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; L.R. 7-15; August 23, 2011 Case Management Order ¶ 5.

Based on the record as a whole and the applicable law, the decisions of the Commissioner with respect to plaintiffs' applications are AFFIRMED. The findings of the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") are supported by substantial evidence and are free from material error.*fn1

II. BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS

A. Plaintiff Young's Application

On April 7, 2008, plaintiff filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits. (Administrative Record ("AR") 12, 79). Plaintiff asserted that he *fn2 became disabled on May 5, 2007, due to daily severe diarrhea and abdominal cramping/pain, weight loss of 25 pounds, and need to go to the bathroom at least 7-10 times per day. (AR 89). The ALJ examined the medical record and heard testimony from plaintiff (who was represented by counsel) and a vocational expert on June 2, 2009. (AR 28-56).

On January 26, 2010, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled through the date of the decision. (AR 12-22). Specifically, the ALJ found:

(1) plaintiff suffered from the following severe combination of impairments: malabsorption syndrome, duodenitis, colitis and anxiety disorder (AR 14); *fn3

(2) plaintiff's impairments, considered singly or in combination, did not meet or medically equal a listed impairment (AR 16); (3) plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity to perform the full range of sedentary work (20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a)) (AR 16); (4) plaintiff could not perform his past relevant work (AR 20); (5) based on plaintiff's residual functional capacity to perform the full range of sedentary work, Medical-Vocational Guidelines, 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2 section 201.21 directs a finding of "not disabled" (AR 21); and (6) plaintiff's allegations regarding his limitations were not credible to the extent they were inconsistent with the ALJ's residual functional capacity assessment (AR 17).

The Appeals Council denied plaintiff's application for review. (AR 1).

B. Plaintiff M.J.Y.'s Application

On April 9, 2008, plaintiff M.J.Y. submitted an application for Child's Insurance Benefits based on plaintiff Young's wage records. (AR 250-51, 259).

On January 26, 2010, the ALJ determined that plaintiff M.J.Y. did not qualify for such benefits in light of the ALJ's concurrent finding that plaintiff Young was not disabled. (AR 259-60).

The Appeals Council denied plaintiff M.J.Y.'s application for review. (AR 246).

III. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Sequential Evaluation Process

To qualify for disability benefits, a claimant must show that the claimant is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least twelve months. Burch v. Barnhart, 400 F.3d 676, 679 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing 42 U.S.C. ยง 423(d)(1)(A)). The impairment must render the claimant incapable of performing the work claimant previously performed and incapable of performing any other substantial ...


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