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Ridenour v. Colvin

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

July 3, 2013

HELEN D. RIDENOUR, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, [1] Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

CHARLES F. EICK, Magistrate Judge.

PROCEEDINGS

Plaintiff filed a Complaint on October 25, 2012, seeking review of the Commissioner's denial of benefits. The parties filed a consent to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge on December 5, 2012.

Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment on May 28, 2013.[2] Defendant filed a cross-motion for summary judgment on June 26, 2013. The Court has taken both motions under submission without oral argument. See L.R. 7-15; "Order, " filed October 26, 2012.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION

Plaintiff asserted disability since October 6, 2003, based on alleged physical and mental impairments (Administrative Record ("A.R.") 1-1992). Following a previous remand from this Court (A.R. 976-82), the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") examined the record and heard testimony from Plaintiff and a vocational expert (A.R. 960-74, 1951-92).

The ALJ found Plaintiff has the severe impairments of "cerebral palsy with cognitive delay; diabetes mellitus; status post spinal fusion; and anxiety disorder" (A.R. 965). The ALJ determined that Plaintiff retains the residual functional capacity to lift and carry ten pounds occasionally and five to ten pounds frequently, to stand and walk six hours in an eight hour workday, to sit six hours in an eight hour workday and to perform jobs involving simple repetitive tasks, with certain further limitations (A.R. 968). Relying on the testimony of the vocational expert, the ALJ found that Plaintiff could perform particular jobs existing in significant numbers in the national economy (A.R. 973, 1990-91). The ALJ deemed not credible Plaintiff's testimony and statements regarding the severity of her alleged symptoms, stating several reasons for this credibility assessment (A.R. 968-71). The Appeals Council denied review (A.R. 892-94).

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[3] ...


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