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Montez v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 26, 2014

MICHAEL STANLEY MONTEZ, 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 his 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 January 8, 2010, alleging that he had been disabled since July 30, 2009. Administrative Record ("AR") 154-160. Plaintiff's application was initially denied on June 23, 2010, and upon reconsideration on November 18, 2010. Id. at 87-90, 97-102. On July 7, 2011, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Paul G. Robeck. Id. at 33-84. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, at which he and a vocational expert ("VE") testified. Id.

On July 20, 2011, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under sections 216(i) and 223(d) of the Act.[1] Id. at 18-27. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2015.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 30, 2009, the alleged onset date (20 C.F.R § 404.1571, et seq. ).
* * *
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: chronic low back pain secondary to lumbar spine degenerative disc disease, and right knee pain secondary to post horn medial meniscal tear (20 C.F.R. § 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 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).
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5. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b), except he can occasionally climb ramps and stairs, occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, ...

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