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Barraza v. Colvin

United States District Court, C.D. California

August 12, 2014

MARCUS ANTHONY BARRAZA, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SHERI PYM, Magistrate Judge.

I.

INTRODUCTION

On September 12, 2013, plaintiff Marcus Anthony Barraza filed a complaint against the Commissioner of Social Security Administration ("Commissioner"), seeking a review of a denial of a Supplemental Security Income ("SSI"). Both plaintiff and defendant have consented to proceed for all purposes before the assigned Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 636(c). The court deems the matter suitable for adjudication without oral argument.

Plaintiff presents one disputed issue for adjudication: whether the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") properly considered plaintiff's need to lie down during breaks in his step five analysis.

Having carefully studied the parties's written submissions, the Administrative Record ("AR"), and the decision of the ALJ, the court concludes that, as detailed herein, the ALJ did not err at step five. The court therefore affirms the Commissioner's denial of benefits.

II.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, who was forty-three years old on his alleged disability onset date, is a high school graduate who completed two years of college. AR 42, 162. Plaintiff has past relevant work experience as a plumber. AR 168.

On December 14, 2009, plaintiff applied for SSI alleging a disability onset date of January 16, 2007. AR 162. Plaintiff was denied initially and upon reconsideration, after which he requested a hearing. AR 73-76, 79-87.

A first hearing was held on October 6, 2011, at which plaintiff failed to appear due to his incarceration for a parole violation in an insufficient funds check case. AR 30, 39. Plaintiff's counsel appeared and the ALJ heard testimony from vocational expert ("VE") Sandra Fioretti. AR 30-34.

On November 16, 2011, plaintiff, represented by counsel, appeared and testified at a second hearing before the ALJ. AR 38-63. VE Corinne Porter also testified. AR 63-70.

Applying the well known five-step sequential evaluation process, the ALJ found, at step one, that the plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since his December 10, 2009 application date. AR 16.

At step two, the ALJ found that plaintiff suffered from the following severe impairments: insulin dependent diabetes mellitus II, obesity, arthritis of the right ...


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