United States District Court, C.D. California
DECISION AND ORDER
E. BIANCHINI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
November of 2011, Plaintiff Shidokht Samiei Gohar applied for
Supplemental Security Income benefits under the Social
Security Act. The Commissioner of Social Security denied the
by and through her attorney, Lawrence D. Rohfling, Esq.
commenced this action seeking judicial review of the
Commissioner's denial of benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405 (g) and 1383 (c)(3).
parties consented to the jurisdiction of a United States
Magistrate Judge. (Docket No. 11, 12, 22, 23). On December
12, 2016, this case was referred to the undersigned pursuant
to General Order 05-07. (Docket No. 21).
applied for SSI benefits on November 30, 2011, alleging
disability beginning January 1, 1990. (T at
130-51). The application was denied initially and
on reconsideration. Plaintiff requested a hearing before an
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”).
1, 2013, a hearing was held before ALJ Sherwin F. Biesman. (T
at 47). Plaintiff appeared with her attorney and testified.
(T at 49-60).
August 26, 2013, the ALJ issued a written decision denying
the application for benefits. (T at 32-46). The ALJ's
decision became the Commissioner's final decision on May
27, 2015, when the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's
request for review. (T at 1-7).
20, 2015, Plaintiff, acting by and through her counsel, filed
this action seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's
denial of benefits. (Docket No. 1). The Commissioner
interposed an Answer on December 3. 2015. (Docket No. 14).
The parties filed a Joint Stipulation on February 10, 2016.
(Docket No. 16).
reviewing the pleadings, Joint Stipulation, and
administrative record, this Court finds that the
Commissioner's decision must be affirmed and this case be
Sequential Evaluation Process
Social Security Act (“the Act”) defines
disability as the “inability 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
twelve months.” 42 U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(1)(A),
1382c(a)(3)(A). The Act also provides that a claimant shall
be determined to be under a disability only if any
impairments are of such severity that he or she is not only
unable to do previous work but cannot, considering his or her
age, education and work experiences, engage in any other
substantial work which exists in the national economy. 42
U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(2)(A), 1382c(a)(3)(B). Thus, the
definition of disability consists of both medical and
vocational components. Edlund v. Massanari, 253 F.3d
1152, 1156 (9th Cir. 2001).
Commissioner has established a five-step sequential
evaluation process for determining whether a person is
disabled. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920. Step one
determines if the person is engaged in substantial gainful
activities. If so, benefits are denied. 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404. 1520(a)(4)(i), 416.920(a)(4)(i). If not,
the decision maker proceeds to step two, which determines
whether the claimant has a ...