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Thatcher v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 17, 2015

JACK RICHARD THATCHER, JR., 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 his application for a period of disability and Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act. The parties' cross-motions for summary judgment are pending. For the reasons that follow, plaintiff's motion is denied and defendant's motion grant is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed an application for a period of disability and DIB on October 18, 2010, alleging that he had been disabled since August 31, 2010. Administrative Record ("AR") 69. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. at 74-78, 81-85. On April 18, 2012, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Peter F. Belli. Id. at 36-68. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, at which he and a vocation expert ("VE") testified. Id.

On May 25, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under sections 216(i) and 223(d) of the Act.[1] Id. at 12-24. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2015.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since August 31, 2010, the date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq. ).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: mild right carpal tunnel syndrome, mild right ulnar sensory neuropathy at wrist, cervical spondylosis, depression, anxiety, asthma, and fibromyalgia (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
* * *
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.156).
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5. 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 404.1567(b) except that the claimant could lift/carry occasionally 20 pounds and frequently 10 pounds. He could sit eight hours in an eight-hour workday with normal breaks. He could stand/walk six hours in an eight-hour workday with normal breaks and no prolonged standing for about 30-45 minutes at a time. He should never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds or crawl. He could occasional [sic] stoop, kneel, and crouch. He could occasionally work overhead with upper extremities. He could frequently, but not constantly handle and feel. He should avoid concentrated exposure to respiratory irritants. He has no limitations on his ability to receive, understand, remember, and carryout simple job instructions. He could occasionally understand, remember, and carryout detailed job instructions. He has no limitations on the ability to adjust to workplace changes or in his ability to interact with coworkers and supervisors. He is limited to occasional exposure to the public.
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6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work ...

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