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Long v. Colvin

United States District Court, C.D. California

December 9, 2014

MIRIAM M. LONG, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant

For Miriam M. Long, Plaintiff: Manuel D Serpa, LEAD ATTORNEY, Binder and Binder PC, Orange, CA.

For Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant: Assistant U.S. Attorney LA-CV, LEAD ATTORNEY, AUSA - Office of U.S. Attorney, Los Angeles, CA; Assistant U.S. Attorney LA-SSA, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of the General Counsel for Social Security Adm., San Francisco, CA; Tova D Wolking, SAUSA - U.S. Attorney's Office, San Francisco, CA.

ORDER AFFIRMING DECISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE

HON. MICHAEL R. WILNER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

I. SUMMARY OF RULING

Plaintiff Long challenges the denial of her application for disability insurance benefits. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found that Plaintiff was capable of performing work in the economy and denied benefits.

The Court concludes that the ALJ identified reasons adequate to discount the opinions of the Plaintiff's treating and examining medical experts. As a result, the Court affirms the ALJ's decision.

II. PLAINTIFF'S CONDITIONS AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW

Plaintiff initially applied for disability benefits in 2009 based on various physical and mental conditions. An ALJ found that Plaintiff was not disabled and denied benefits. On appeal, this Court vacated the agency's determination based on the ALJ's improper evaluation of the medical evidence. (Long v. Astrue, No. CV 11-1361 MRW, (C.D. Cal. 2011)). (AR 733.)

A different ALJ conducted a new hearing in 2012. After that hearing, the ALJ found that Plaintiff's anemia, depression, and other conditions constituted " severe impairments" as the term is used under federal regulations. (AR 664.)

The ALJ determined that Plaintiff had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform work subject to a variety of exertional and non-exertional limitations. (AR 666.) In establishing the RFC, the ALJ expressly gave little weight to more considerable restrictions recommended by Plaintiff's treating and examining medical experts. (AR 667-72.)

A vocational expert testified at the hearing that an individual with Plaintiff's RFC could perform several identified jobs. (AR 673, 728-29.) The ALJ concluded that Plaintiff was not disabled and denied benefits.

III. DISCUSSION

On appeal to this Court, Plaintiff argues that the ALJ failed to provide legally sufficient reasons for discounting the opinions of her treating ...


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