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Nicholas v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. California

October 14, 2014

ARTHUR NICHOLAS, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

ORDER

CAROLYN K. DELANEY, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying applications for Disability Income Benefits ("DIB") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act ("Act"), respectively. For the reasons discussed below, the court will deny plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and grant the Commissioner's cross-motion for summary judgment.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, born January 22, 1962, applied on January 31, 2011 for DIB and SSI, alleging disability beginning January 28, 2010. Administrative Transcript ("AT") 84-85, 144, 148. Plaintiff alleged he was unable to work due to hepatitis B and liver failure. AT 199. In a decision dated August 29, 2012, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled.[1] AT 27. 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 March 31, 2016.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January 28, 2010, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: hepatitis B and cirrhosis of the liver.
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.
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work... except the claimant can occasionally climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl; he should never work at unprotected heights; he should never work with moving machinery; he should not work around fire and chemicals; he requires a sit/stand option which is defined as sitting for fifteen to thirty minutes at a time and standing for thirty minutes at a time.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was born on January 22, 1962 and was 48 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the alleged disability onset date. The claimant subsequently changed age category to closely approaching advanced age.
8. The claimant has a limited education and is able to communicate in English.
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the determination of disability because using the Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding that the claimant is "not disabled, " whether or not the claimant has transferable job skills.
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform.
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from January 28, 2010, ...

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