United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
E. SCOTT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Thuthu Yurick (“Plaintiff”) appeals the final
decision of the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
denying her application for Social Security Disability
Insurance benefits (“DIB”) and Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”). For the reasons
discussed below, the ALJ’s decision is AFFIRMED.
applied for DIB and SSI on April 17, 2012, alleging the onset
of disability on December 31, 2010. Administrative Record
(“AR”) 171, 178. On October 8, 2013, an ALJ
conducted a hearing, at which Plaintiff, who was represented
by counsel, appeared and testified. AR 25-64.
December 4, 2013, the ALJ issued a written decision denying
Plaintiff’s request for benefits. AR 8-21. The ALJ
found that Plaintiff had the severe impairments of
“chronic pain; diabetes mellitus; hypertension;
arthritis; and gastroesophageal reflux disease.” AR 13.
The ALJ found Plaintiff’s medically determinable
impairment of depression to be non-severe. AR 14.
her impairments, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff had the
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform a
full range of medium work activities. AR 16. Based on this
RFC and the testimony of a vocational expert
(“VE”), at step four of the sequential evaluation
process the ALJ found that Plaintiff could still perform her
past relevant work as a nail shop owner, nail shop helper or
assembly supervisor. AR 19-20. Alternatively, at step five, the
ALJ found that Plaintiff would be able to perform alternative
occupations including office clerk and telephone clerk. AR
20-21. Based on these findings, the ALJ concluded that
Plaintiff is not disabled. Id.
No. 1: Whether the ALJ properly considered the medical
evidence in determining Plaintiff’s RFC.
No. 2: Whether the ALJ properly assessed
Plaintiff’s credibility in discounting her testimony
concerning subjective complaints.
No. 3: Whether the ALJ properly considered
“vocational issues” at both steps four and five.
See Dkt. 18, Joint Stipulation (“JS”) at
The ALJ’s RFC Determination is Supported by
Standard of Review.
is responsible for determining a claimant’s RFC. 20
C.F.R. § 404.1546(c). To do so, the ALJ will consider
the medical evidence, resolve conflicts and determine
“the most” a claimant can still do despite
his/her limitations. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1545(a).
judicial review, the district court will uphold the Social
Security Administration’s RFC determination
“unless it contains legal error or is not supported by
substantial evidence.” Orn v. Astrue, 495 F.3d
625, 630 (9th Cir. 2007). Substantial evidence is “such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion, ” and “must be
‘more than a mere scintilla, ’ but may be less
than a preponderance.” Molina v. Astrue, 674
F.3d 1104, 1110-11 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting Valentine v.
Comm’r Soc. Sec. Admin., 574 F.3d 685, 690 (9th
Cir.2009)). The reviewing court “must consider the
evidence as a whole, weighing both the evidence that supports
and the evidence that detracts from the Commissioner’s
conclusion.” Smolen v. Chater, 80 F.3d 1273,
1279 (9th Cir. 1996). However, if “the evidence is
susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, we must
uphold the ALJ’s findings if they are supported by
inferences reasonably drawn from the record.”
Molina, 674 F.3d at 1111. Overall, the standard of
review is “highly deferential.”
Valentine, 574 F.3d at 690.
ALJ’s determination that Plaintiff has the RFC to
perform “medium” work equates to a finding that
Plaintiff can lift “no more than 50 pounds at a time
with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to
25 pounds” and that she can walk or stand for
approximately 6 hours of an 8-hour workday. 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1567 and 416.967; S.S.R. 82-10.
contends that this determination is “inconsistent with
the vast majority of medical evidence in this record.”
JS at 5. Plaintiff string cites to her medical records
describing complaints of muscle spasms and pain. Id.
Plaintiff does not, however, identify any specific ...