Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

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.

Pacheco v. Colvin

United States District Court, C.D. California, Eastern Division

February 28, 2017

CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.



         Pursuant to Sentence 4 of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this matter is remanded for further administrative action consistent with this Opinion.


         On January 17, 2012, Plaintiff Josefina Avila Pacheco (“Plaintiff”) applied for disability insurance benefits alleging a disabling condition beginning August 25, 2010. (AR 192). On December 3, 2013, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Mark B. Greenberg examined records and heard testimony from Plaintiff and vocational expert (“V.E.”) Carlen Stock. (AR 35-71). On August 7, 2014, the ALJ denied Plaintiff benefits in a written decision. (AR 15-28). The Appeals Council denied review of the ALJ's decision. (AR 1-3).

         On December 9, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) alleging that the Social Security Administration erred in denying benefits. (Docket Entry No. 1). On April 12, 2016, Defendant filed an Answer to the Complaint, (Docket Entry No. 13), and the Certified Administrative Record (“AR”), (Docket Entry No. 14). The parties have consented to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge. (Docket Entry Nos. 8, 9). On July 28, 2016, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation (“Joint Stip.”) setting forth their respective positions on Plaintiff's claims. (Docket Entry No. 17).


         The ALJ applied the five-step process in evaluating Plaintiff's case. (AR 16-17). At step one, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity after the alleged onset date. (AR 17). At step two, the ALJ found that Plaintiff's severe impairments included obesity, degenerative disc disease, degenerative joint disease, repetitive use injuries of the right upper extremity, chronic pain, impingement syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, and depression. (AR 17). At step three, the ALJ found that Plaintiff's impairments did not meet or equal a listing found in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. (AR 17-18).

         Before proceeding to step four, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work with the following further limitations: “with respect to [Plaintiff's] sitting for six hours out of an eight-hour workday she would require hourly breaks of five minutes to change position, and during that five minutes she could either stand at the workstation or walk around the workstation close enough to remain on task. She can frequently push and pull with the dominant right upper extremity. She can occasionally climb ramps and stairs, stoop, crouch and crawl. She can frequently balance and kneel. She is precluded from climbing ladders, ropes, and scaffolds. She is precluded from exposure to hazards. She is precluded from overhead reaching with the right upper extremity but can otherwise perform frequent reaching, handling, fingering and feeling with the right upper extremity. She is limited to nonpublic work that is unskilled and involves simple and repetitive tasks.” (AR 19). In making his RFC finding, the ALJ stated that Plaintiff's subjective complaints were “less than fully credible” and inconsistent with objective medical evidence. (AR 21, 24, 26).

         At steps four and five, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff was unable to perform past relevant work but that she could seek work as a packager, inspector, or assembler, which were all jobs existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (See AR 27-28). Accordingly, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. (AR 28).


         This court reviews the Administration's decision to determine if the decision is free of legal error and supported by substantial evidence. See Brewes v. Commissioner of Soc. Sec. Admin., 682 F.3d 1157, 1161 (9th Cir. 2012). “Substantial evidence” is more than a mere scintilla, but less than a preponderance. Garrison v. Colvin, 759 F.3d 995, 1009 (9th Cir. 2014). To determine whether substantial evidence supports a finding, “a court must consider the record as a whole, weighing both evidence that supports and evidence that detracts from the [Commissioner's] conclusion.” Aukland v. Massanari, 257 F.3d 1033, 1035 (9th Cir. 2001) (internal quotation omitted). As a result, “[i]f the evidence can support either affirming or reversing the ALJ's conclusion, [a court] may not substitute [its] judgment for that of the ALJ.” Robbins v. Soc. Sec. Admin., 466 F.3d 880, 882 (9th Cir. 2006).


         Plaintiff raises two grounds for relief. First, Plaintiff claims that the ALJ improperly assessed the credibility of her subjective complaints. (Joint Stip. at 3-7). Second, Plaintiff claims that the ALJ erred at step five by selecting alternative occupations that Plaintiff is not able to perform and relying on an inaccurate calculation of the numbers ...

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.