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Costa v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 31, 2014

TRACY THOMAS COSTA, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

ORDER

EDMUND F. BRENNAN, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying her application for a period of disability and Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act. The parties' cross-motions for summary judgment are pending. For the reasons discussed below, plaintiff's motion is denied and defendant's motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed an application for a period of disability and DIB on May 5, 2008, alleging that she had been disabled since November 21, 2006.[1] Administrative Record ("AR") 130, 249-250. Plaintiff's application was initially denied on July 2, 2008, and upon reconsideration on October 16, 2008. Id. at 135-138, 143-147. On November 18, 2009, March 8, 2010, and July 14, 2010, hearings were held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Peter F. Belli. Id. at 47-130. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearings, at which she testified. Id. Plaintiff's husband, Thomas Costa, also testified at the July 14, 2010 hearing. Id. at 66-81.

On January 27, 2011, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under sections 216(i) and 223(d) of the Act.[2] Id. at 21-32. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through June 30, 2011.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since May 15, 2008, the amended onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq. ).
* * *
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: oculodentodigital dysplasia, migraines (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
* * *
4. 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 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.156).
* * *
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except that the claimant can lift and carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. The claimant can occasionally push and pull 20 pounds occasionally [sic] and 10 pounds frequently. The claimant can sit for 8 hours in an 8-hour day, with normal breaks. The claimant can stand and walk for 6 hours in an 8-hour day, with normal breaks. The claimant can never climb ladders, ropes, and scaffolds. The claimant can occasionally stoop, crouch, crawl, and kneel.
* * *
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565).
* * *
7. The claimant was born on October 8, 1970 and was 36 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the alleged ...

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