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Olson v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 11, 2014

ROBYN L. OLSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

ORDER

ALLISON CLAIRE, 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 Act") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Act. The parties' cross-motions for summary judgment are pending. For the reasons discussed below, the court will deny plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and will grant defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed an application for DIB and SSI on September 4, 2009, alleging disability beginning on November 30, 2008. Administrative Record ("AR") 138-44, 145-47, 148-50. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and again upon reconsideration. AR 66-68, 71-75. On January 24, 2012, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Peter F. Belli. AR 32-56. Plaintiff appeared with non-attorney representation at the hearing, at which she and a vocational expert testified. See id. On March 30, 2012, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision finding plaintiff not disabled. AR 7-21. The ALJ made the following findings (citations to 20 C.F.R. omitted):

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2013.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since November 30, 2008, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: seizure, obesity and depression.
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform medium work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(c) and 416.967(c) except that the claimant can lift and carry 50 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds frequently; sit for 8 hour[s] in an 8-hour workday with normal breaks; stand and walk for 6 hours in an 8-hour workday with normal breaks; can never climb ladders, ropes and scaffolds; and should avoid working in unprotected heights and hazardous machinery. The claimant has no limitations on her ability to understand, remember and carry out simple short instructions; to make work related judgments; interact appropriately with the public, supervisors and co-workers; adjust to the changes in a work setting; and her ability to understand, remember and carry out detailed instructions is frequently limited.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a cashier, fast food worker and in-home care worker. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity.
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from November 30, 2008, through the date of this decision.

AR 10-22.

Plaintiff requested review of the ALJ's decision by the Appeals Council, but the Council denied review on March 29, 2013, leaving the ALJ's decision as the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security. AR 1-3.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Born on January 2, 1972, AR 138, plaintiff was 36 years old on the alleged onset date of disability and 40 years old at the time of the administrative hearing. Plaintiff has a high school education and received training post-high school to become a Certified Nurse Assistant. AR 37. Plaintiff last worked in 2009 as a front end cashier at Walmart, but left that job after 4.5 years due to depression. AR 38, 241. Prior to ...


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