United States District Court, C.D. California
For Daisy Savasli, Plaintiff: Steven G Rosales, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of Lawrence D Rohlfing, Santa Fe Springs, CA.
For Carolyn W Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant: Assistant U.S. Attorney LA-CV, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of U.S. Attorney, Civil Division, Los Angeles, CA; Assistant U.S. Attorney LA-SSA, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of the General Counsel for Social Security Adm., San Francisco, CA; Sundeep R Patel, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of the United States Attorney, Social Security Administration, San Francisco, CA.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
FREDERICK F. MUMM, United States Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff brings this action seeking to overturn the decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration denying her application for Supplemental Security Income benefits. Pursuant to the Case Management Order filed on September 20, 2013, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation (" JS") detailing each party's arguments and authorities. The Court has reviewed the administrative record (the " AR"), filed April 7, 2014, and the JS.
On February 18, 2010, plaintiff filed the subject application. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and on reconsideration. Plaintiff thereafter filed a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge (" ALJ"). After the hearing, ALJ Sharilyn Hopson issued a decision denying benefits. Plaintiff sought review of the decision by the Appeals Council, which denied the request.
Plaintiff filed her complaint herein on September 18, 2013.
Plaintiff raises a single issue in this action: whether the ALJ properly determined that plaintiff could perform the work identified by the vocational expert (" VE").
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court reviews the Commissioner's decision to determine whether the Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial evidence and whether the proper legal standards were applied. DeLorme v. Sullivan, 924 F.2d 841, 846 (9th Cir. 1991). Substantial evidence means " more than a mere scintilla" but less than a preponderance. Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401, 91 S.Ct. 1420, 28 L.Ed.2d 842 (1971); Desrosiers v. Secretary of Health & Human Servs., 846 F.2d 573, 575-76 (9th Cir. 1988). Substantial evidence is " such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Richardson, 402 U.S. at 401. This Court must review the record as a whole and consider adverse as well as supporting evidence. Green v. Heckler, 803 F.2d 528, 529-30 (9th Cir. 1986). Where evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, the Commissioner's decision must be upheld. Gallant v. Heckler, 753 F.2d 1450, 1452 (9th Cir. 1984). However, even if substantial evidence exists in the record to support the Commissioner's decision, the decision must be reversed if the proper legal standard was not applied. Howard ex rel. Wolff v. Barnhart, 341 F.3d 1006, 1014-15 (9th Cir. 2003); see also Smolen v. Chater, 80 F.3d 1273, 1279 (9th Cir. 1996).
1. Whether there is a DOT inconsistency in the ALJ's holding that plaintiff can perform the jobs of information clerk, assembler-small products I, and office helper.
Claims of disability are evaluated under a five-step sequential procedure. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4); 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(a)(4). At step four of the procedure, the ALJ must determine whether the claimant has an ability to perform his past relevant work (" PRW"). 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4)(iv) and § 404.1560(b); 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(a)(4)(iv) and § 416.960(b). If, at step four of the procedure, the claimant meets his burden of establishing an inability to perform PRW, at step five, the Commissioner has the burden of showing that the claimant can engage in other substantial gainful work that exists in the ...