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Wright v. Colvin

United States District Court, C.D. California, Western Division

April 24, 2014

ARBERY LEE WRIGHT, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DOUGLAS F. McCORMICK, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Arbery Wright ("Plaintiff") appeals the Commissioner's final decision denying his application for disability insurance benefits. This Court concludes that the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") properly assessed Plaintiff's credibility. Therefore, the Commissioner's decision is affirmed and the matter is dismissed with prejudice.

I.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed his application for disability insurance benefits on April 27, 2012, alleging disability beginning August 5, 2011. In an unfavorable decision, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff was not disabled because he could perform his past relevant work. Administrative Record ("AR") 15-23.

II.

ISSUE PRESENTED

The parties dispute whether the ALJ erred in assessing Plaintiff's credibility. See Joint Stipulation ("JS") at 3.

III.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), a district court may review the Commissioner's decision to deny benefits. The ALJ's findings and decision should be upheld if they are free from legal error and are supported by substantial evidence based on the record as a whole. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Richardson v. Perales , 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971); Parra v. Astrue , 481 F.3d 742, 746 (9th Cir. 2007). Substantial evidence means such relevant evidence as a reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Richardson , 402 U.S. at 401; Lingenfelter v. Astrue , 504 F.3d 1028, 1035 (9th Cir. 2007). It is more than a scintilla, but less than a preponderance. Lingenfelter , 504 F.3d at 1035 (citing Robbins v. Soc. Sec. Admin. , 466 F.3d 880, 882 (9th Cir. 2006)). To determine whether substantial evidence supports a finding, the reviewing court "must review the administrative record as a whole, weighing both the evidence that supports and the evidence that detracts from the Commissioner's conclusion." Reddick v. Chater , 157 F.3d 715, 720 (9th Cir. 1996). "If the evidence can reasonably support either affirming or reversing, " the reviewing court "may not substitute its judgment" for that of the Commissioner. Id. at 720-21.

IV.

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff contends that the ALJ erred by failing to provide clear and convincing reasons for discounting his subjective symptom testimony. See JS at 4-15. Plaintiff testified that he has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in his knees, diabetes, and hypertension. Plaintiff also testified that he has pain and swelling in his ...


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