United States District Court, C.D. California, Western Division
BARBARA C. FLORES, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER (Social Security Case)
VICTOR B. KENTON, Magistrate Judge.
This matter is before the Court for review of the decision by the Commissioner of Social Security denying Plaintiff's application for disability benefits. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), the parties have consented that the case may be handled by the Magistrate Judge. The action arises under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), which authorizes the Court to enter judgment upon the pleadings and transcript of the record before the Commissioner. The parties have filed the Joint Stipulation ("JS"), and the Commissioner has filed the certified Administrative Record ("AR").
Plaintiff raises the following issues:
1. Whether there is a DOT inconsistency in the Administrative Law Judge's ("ALJ") holding that Plaintiff can perform the jobs such as her past relevant work as well as other jobs;
2. Whether the ALJ properly considered Plaintiff's testimony and made proper credibility findings; and
3. Whether the ALJ properly considered the lay witness testimony.
(JS at 2-3.)
This Memorandum Opinion will constitute the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law. After reviewing the matter, the Court concludes that the decision of the Commissioner must be affirmed.
THE ALJ'S IDENTIFICATION OF WORK THAT PLAINTIFF CAN PERFORM IS NOT BASED ON A DOT INCONSISTENCY BETWEEN THE JOB REQUIREMENTS AND PLAINTIFF'S RESIDUAL FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY
In Plaintiff's first issue, she contends that the ALJ improperly found that she can perform her past relevant work as an overnight supervisor/stock clerk, and alternatively, that Plaintiff is able to perform other work identified by the testifying Vocational Expert ("VE") at the hearing. (AR 15-16.)
Plaintiff does not quibble with the ALJ's finding as to her residual functional capacity ("RFC"), which includes a stated limitation as follows: "Occasional overhead reach with the right upper extremity." (AR 12.) Plaintiff contends, however, that she is not capable of performing the jobs identified by the ALJ, (AR 16.) The ALJ stated the following conclusion:
"Based on the testimony of the vocational expert, the undersigned concludes that, considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, the claimant is not only able to return to her past relevant work, but she is also capable of making a successful adjustment to other work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy. A finding of not disabled' is therefore appropriate under Step Four of the sequential ...