Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Padilla v. Colvin

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 29, 2016

GEORGE G. PADILLA, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF REMAND

          HONORABLE JACQUELINE CHOOLJIAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. SUMMARY

         On September 15, 2015, George G. Padilla (“plaintiff”) filed a Complaint seeking review of the Commissioner of Social Security’s denial of plaintiff’s application for benefits. The parties have consented to proceed before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on the parties’ cross motions for summary judgment, respectively (“Plaintiff’s Motion”) and (“Defendant’s Motion”). The Court has taken both motions under submission without oral argument. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; L.R. 7-15.

         Based on the record as a whole and the applicable law, the decision of the Commissioner is REVERSED AND REMANDED for further proceedings consistent with this Memorandum Opinion and Order of Remand.

         II. BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION

         On December 8, 2007, plaintiff filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits alleging disability on July 31, 2007, due to cervical disc disease, pain in both feet, and right shoulder rheumatoid arthritis. (Administrative Record (“AR”) 21, 142, 169). The Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) examined the medical record and heard testimony from plaintiff (who was represented by counsel), and vocational and medical experts on July 15, 2010 (“Pre-Remand Hearing”). (AR 41-57).

         On September 20, 2010, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled through the date of the decision (“Pre-Remand Decision”). (AR 21-30). The Appeals Council denied plaintiff’s application for review of the Pre-Remand Decision. (AR 1).

         On September 21, 2012, this Court entered judgment reversing and remanding the case for further proceedings, in part, because the ALJ’s findings at step 5 of the sequential evaluation process were not supported by substantial evidence. (AR 735-45). The Appeals Council, in turn, vacated the Pre-Remand Decision and remanded the case to the ALJ with instructions to “offer [plaintiff] the opportunity for a hearing, take any further action needed to complete the administrative record and issue a new decision.” (AR 752). On remand, the ALJ held a hearing on September 10, 2013 (“Post-Remand Hearing”), during which the ALJ heard testimony from plaintiff (who was represented by counsel) and a vocational expert. (AR 673-703).

         On September 24, 2013, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled through December 31, 2012 (i.e., the date last insured) (“Post-Remand Decision”). (AR 654-66). Specifically, the ALJ found that through the date last insured: (1) plaintiff suffered from the following severe impairments: chronic and recurrent neck pain syndrome, and upper extremity radiculopathy (AR 656); (2) plaintiff’s impairments, considered singly or in combination, did not meet or medically equal a listed impairment (AR 658-59); (3) plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity to perform light work (20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b)) with additional limitations[1] (AR 659); (4) plaintiff could not perform any past relevant work (AR 664-65); (5) there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that plaintiff could perform, specifically Counter Clerk, Bakery Worker, and Laminating Machine Off-Bearer (AR 665-66); and (6) plaintiff’s allegations regarding the intensity, persistence, and limiting effects of subjective symptoms were not entirely credible (AR 660, 663-64).

         The Appeals Council rejected plaintiff’s exceptions to the Post-Remand Decision. (AR 634).

         III. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Sequential Evaluation Process

         To qualify for disability benefits, a claimant must show that the claimant is unable “to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” Molina v. Astrue, 674 F.3d 1104, 1110 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A)) (internal quotation marks omitted). The impairment must render the claimant incapable of performing the work the claimant previously performed and incapable of performing any other substantial gainful employment that exists in the national economy. Tackett v. Apfel, 180 F.3d 1094, 1098 (9th Cir. 1999) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(2)(A)).

         In assessing whether a claimant is disabled, an ALJ is required to use the following five-step sequential evaluation process:

(1) Is the claimant presently engaged in substantial gainful activity? If so, the claimant is not disabled. If ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.