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Meeks v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 30, 2014

JULIE BETH MEEKS, 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 Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title XVI 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 SSI on February 12, 2010, alleging that she had been disabled since January 1, 2007. Administrative Record ("AR") 184-190. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. at 101-105, 109-113. On September 28, 2011, and February 6, 2012, hearings were held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Peter Belli. Id. at 48-95. Plaintiff was represented by a non-attorney representative at the hearing, at which she and a vocational expert ("VE") testified. Id.

On March 30, 2012 the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Act.[1] Id. at 14-29. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since February 12, 2010, the application date (20 CFR 416.971 et seq. ).
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: degenerative disk disease of the lumbar spine, scoliosis, hepatitis C, mild obesity, and a mood disorder (20 CFR 416.920(c)).
* * *
3. 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 (20 CFR 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
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4. 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 416.967(b) except the claimant is precluded from climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. She can occasionally stoop, crouch, or crawl. She is limited to occasional public contact, and frequent contact with supervisors or coworkers. She could frequently use a telephone.
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5. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work ...

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