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Ford v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 20, 2015

ALISA MICHELLE FORD, 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 her applications for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, plaintiff's motion is denied and the Commissioner's motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed applications for a period of disability, DIB, and SSI on October 25, 2011, alleging that she had been disabled since January 1, 2004. Administrative Record ("AR") 93, 172-189. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. at 117-121, 124-129. On May 30, 2013, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Evangelina P. Hernandez. Id. at 26-76. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearings, at which she, a third-party witness, and a vocational expert ("VE") testified. Id.

On July 19, 2013, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under sections 216(i), 223(d), and 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Act.[1] Id. at 10-20. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2016.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 1, 2011, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq. ).
* * *
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: bipolar disorder and depression (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
* * *
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
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5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned find that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform a fully range of work at all exertional levels but with the following nonexertional limitations: She is limited to simple work, defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) as SVP levels 1 and 2, routine and repetitive; she needs to work in a low stress job defined as involving only occasional decisions making and occasional changes in the work setting; she can have occasional interaction with the general public; and the work can be around co-workers throughout the day, but with only occasional interaction with co-workers.
* * *
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR ...

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