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Washington Reyes v. Carolyn W. Colvin

March 20, 2013

WASHINGTON REYES,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,*FN1
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles F. Eick United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

PROCEEDINGS

Plaintiff filed a Complaint on May 7, 2012, seeking review of the Commissioner's denial of benefits. The parties filed a consent to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge on June 14, 2012.

Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment on December 22, 2012. Defendant filed a cross-motion for summary judgment on March 4, 2013. The Court has taken both motions under submission without oral argument. See L.R. 7-15; "Order," filed May 8, 2012.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION

Plaintiff asserted disability since March 1, 2006, based on alleged pain in his back and feet (Administrative Record ("A.R.") 27, 136-43, 150). An Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") examined the record and heard testimony from Plaintiff and a vocational expert (A.R. 37-82).

The ALJ found Plaintiff has a severe "lower back strain with degenerative changes" and "burning foot syndrome" (A.R. 29 (adopting diagnoses at A.R. 250-51, 262, 305, 307)). The ALJ also found, however, that Plaintiff retains the residual functional capacity to perform the full range of medium work (A.R. 30, 32 (adopting consultative examiner's opinion at A.R. 266)). The ALJ determined that, with this capacity, Plaintiff could still perform his past relevant work (A.R. 32-33 (adopting vocational expert testimony at A.R. 73-75)). The ALJ deemed not credible Plaintiff's testimony regarding the severity of his symptoms, to the extent any such testimony was inconsistent with the residual functional capacity the ALJ found to exist (A.R. 30-32). Accordingly, the ALJ found Plaintiff not disabled (A.R. 33). The Appeals Council denied review (A.R. 1-3).

PLAINTIFF'S CONTENTION

Plaintiff contends that the ALJ erred in finding Plaintiff's testimony not entirely credible.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Under 42 U.S.C. section 405(g), this Court reviews the Administration's decision to determine if: (1) the Administration's findings are supported by substantial evidence; and (2) the Administration used correct legal standards. See Carmickle v. Commissioner, 533 F.3d 1155, 1159 (9th Cir. 2008); Hoopai v. Astrue, 499 F.3d 1071, 1074 (9th Cir. 2007). Substantial evidence is "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971) (citation and quotations omitted); see also Widmark v. Barnhart, 454 F.3d 1063, 1067 (9th Cir. 2006).

This Court "may not affirm [the Administration's] decision simply by isolating a specific quantum of supporting evidence, but must also consider evidence that detracts from [the Administration's] conclusion." Ray v. Bowen, 813 F.2d 914, 915 (9th Cir. 1987) (citation and quotations omitted); see Lingenfelter v. Astrue, 504 F.3d 1028 (9th Cir. 2007) (same). However, the Court cannot disturb findings supported by substantial evidence, even though there may exist other evidence supporting Plaintiff's claim. See Torske v. Richardson, 484 F.2d 59, 60 (9th Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 417 U.S. 933 (1974); Harvey v. Richardson, 451 F.2d 589, 590 (9th Cir. 1971).

DISCUSSION

After consideration of the record as a whole, Defendant's motion is granted and Plaintiff's motion is denied. The Administration's findings are supported by substantial evidence and are free from material*fn2 ...


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