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Severino Ursua v. Carolyn W. Colvin

March 27, 2013

SEVERINO URSUA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,*FN1 ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



ORDER

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying his application for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. The parties' cross-motions for summary judgment are pending. For the reasons discussed below, the court grants the Commissioner's motion and denies plaintiff's motion.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff applied for SSI benefits on March 26, 2009, alleging that he had been disabled since March 25, 2009. Administrative Record ("AR") 114-120. Plaintiff's application was initially denied on June 26, 2009, and upon reconsideration on August 28, 2009. Id. at 59-62, 65-69. On October 27, 2010, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Timothy S. Snelling. Id. at 27-56. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, at which he testified. Id.

On December 30, 2010, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the act.*fn2 Id. at 17-25. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since March 25, 2009, the application date (20 CFR 416.971 et seq.).*fn3

2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: degenerative joint disease of the right knee, hepatitis c, hypertension, degenerative disc disease of the lumber spine with right L5-S1 radiculopathy, migraine headaches, cirrhosis of the liver, and esophageal varices (20 CFR 416.920(c)). ...

3. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926). ...

4. After careful consideration of the entire record, I finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform medium work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(c) except he can only occasionally kneel and climb ramps and stairs and cannot perform work requiring fine visual acuity. ...

5. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a bingo caller. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR 416.965). ...

6. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, since March 25, 2009, the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.920(g)).

Id. at 19-25.

Plaintiff's request for Appeals Council review was denied on July 29, 2011, id. at 12, leaving the ALJ's decision as the final decision of the Commissioner. Id. at 1-3.

II. LEGAL STANDARDS

The Commissioner's decision that a claimant is not disabled will be upheld if the findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence in the record and the proper legal standards were applied. Schneider v. Comm'r of the Soc. Sec. Admin., 223 F.3d 968, 973 (9th Cir. 2000); Morgan v. Comm'r of the Soc. Sec. Admin., 169 ...


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