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.

Estela Gomez-Perez v. Berryhill

United States District Court, C.D. California

February 28, 2017

ESTELA GOMEZ-PEREZ, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, [1]Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF REMAND

          Honorable Jacqueline Chooljian UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. SUMMARY

         On June 24, 2016, Estela Gomez-Perez (“plaintiff”) filed a Complaint seeking review of the Commissioner of Social Security's denial of plaintiff's applications 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; June 28, 2016 Case Management Order ¶ 5.

         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 January 27, 2011, plaintiff filed applications for Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance Benefits alleging disability beginning on November 11, 2008 (which was subsequently amended to December 30, 2010) due to type II diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, and high cholesterol. (Administrative Record (“AR”) 17, 104, 306, 310, 361). The Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) examined the medical record and heard testimony from plaintiff (who was represented by counsel and assisted by a Spanish language interpreter) and vocational and medical experts on January 9, 2013 (“Pre-Remand Hearing”). (AR 56-78). On February 5, 2013, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled through the date of the decision. (AR 104-10).

         On July 21, 2014, the Appeals Council granted review, vacated the ALJ's February 5, 2013 decision, and remanded the matter for further administrative proceedings. (AR 115-17).

         On January 14, 2015, the ALJ again examined the medical record and also heard testimony from plaintiff (who was again represented by counsel and assisted by a Spanish language interpreter) and a vocational expert (“Post-Remand Hearing”). (AR 35-55).

         On February 4, 2015, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled through the date of the decision (“Post-Remand Decision”). (AR 17-28). Specifically, the ALJ found: (1) plaintiff suffered from the following severe impairments: diabetes mellitus, hypertension, status post left cerebral vascular accident with right upper extremity hemiparesthesia but almost fully recovered, right shoulder rotator cuff tear, degenerative disease of the right shoulder, and tendinosis of the right shoulder (AR 20); (2) plaintiff's impairments, considered singly or in combination, did not meet or medically equal a listed impairment (AR 21); (3) plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity to perform light work (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(b), 416.967(b)) with additional limitations[2] (AR 21); (4) plaintiff was capable of performing past relevant work as a machine operator, marker/packer, and packer/decorator (AR 27); and (5) plaintiff's statements regarding the intensity, persistence, and limiting effects of subjective symptoms were “not credible to the extent those statements are inconsistent with the residual functional capacity assessment [in the Post-Remand Decision]” (AR 24).

         On May 18, 2016, the Appeals Council denied plaintiff's application for review. (AR 1-5).

         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.