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Barrios v. Colvin

United States District Court, C.D. California

April 16, 2015

JONATHAN BARRIOS, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

ALICIA G. ROSENBERG, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Jonathan Barrios filed this action on May 15, 2013. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), the parties consented to proceed before the magistrate judge on June 7 and 13, 2013. (Dkt. Nos. 7, 10.) On January 24, 2014, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation ("JS") that addressed the disputed issues. The court ordered supplemental briefing. On March 13, 2015, the Commissioner filed a response to the court's order. (Dkt. No. 19.) On March 27, 2015, the Plaintiff filed a reply. (Dkt. No. 20.)

Having reviewed the entire file, the court remands this matter for further proceedings in compliance with 20 C.F.R. § 416.1338.

I.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

This case entails a continuing disability review in connection with a childhood disability benefits and social security benefits redetermination. Administrative Record ("AR") 13. At the age of 16, following a Title XVI application filed on January 15, 2009, Barrios received supplemental security income benefits based on disability as a child. He was found disabled secondary to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ("ADHD") and learning deficits. Id. Separately, based on an April 30, 2010 claim for childhood disability benefits as the child of a disabled worker, Barrios was granted Title II benefits as of his mother's alleged onset date of June 2008. AR 13.

When Barrios turned 18 on February 19, 2010, continuing disability review was initiated in connection with his supplemental security income application. It was determined that as of August 1, 2010, Barrios was no longer disabled under the rules for determining disability in adults. AR 13. The determination was upheld on reconsideration. AR 13, 51-58. Likewise, Barrios' continued eligibility for Title II benefits as the child of a disabled worker was found to have ceased insofar as he was found to be not disabled from and after age 18. AR 13, 33-37. The determination was upheld on reconsideration. AR 51-55.

Barrios requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). AR 59. On January 17, 2012, the ALJ conducted a hearing at which Barrios, his mother, a medical expert and a vocational expert ("VE") testified. AR 335-60. On January 26, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision finding Barrios no longer eligible for social security income benefits as a disabled adult, and for Title II benefits. AR 13-25. On March 12, 2013, the Appeals Council denied the request for review. AR 6-9. This action followed.

II.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this court reviews the Commissioner's decision to deny benefits. The decision will be disturbed only if it is not supported by substantial evidence, or if it is based upon the application of improper legal standards. Moncada v. Chater, 60 F.3d 521, 523 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam); Drouin v. Sullivan, 966 F.2d 1255, 1257 (9th Cir. 1992).

"Substantial evidence" means "more than a mere scintilla but less than a preponderance - it is such relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support the conclusion." Moncada, 60 F.3d at 523. In determining whether substantial evidence exists to support the Commissioner's decision, the court examines the administrative record as a whole, considering adverse as well as supporting evidence. Drouin, 966 F.2d at 1257. When the evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, the court must defer to the Commissioner's decision. Moncada, 60 F.3d at 523.

III.

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