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Yuzon v. Berryhill

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 15, 2017

ZENAIDA YUZON, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER AFFIRMING DECISION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY

          JOHN E. MCDERMOTT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         PROCEEDINGS

         On August 28, 2015, Zenaida Yuzon (“Plaintiff” or “Claimant”) filed a complaint seeking review of the decision by the Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) denying Plaintiff's application for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. The Commissioner filed an Answer on December 9, 2015. On February 17, 2017, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation (“JS”). The matter is now ready for decision.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), both parties consented to proceed bef ore this Magistrate Judge. After reviewing the pleadings, transcripts, and administrative record (“AR”), the Court concludes that the Commissioner's decision must be affirmed and this case dismissed with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is a 66-year-old female who applied for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits on January 18, 2012, alleging disability beginning October 28, 2009. (AR 16.)[1] The ALJ determined that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 28, 2009, the alleged onset date. (AR 18.)

         Plaintiff's claim was denied initially on August 28, 2012. (AR 16.) Plaintiff filed a timely request for hearing, which was held before Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Elizabeth R. Lishner on May 21, 2013 in West Los Angeles, California. (AR 16.) Plaintiff appeared and testified at the hearing and was represented by a non-attorney representative. (AR 16.) Vocational expert (“VE”) Gail L. Maron also appeared and testified at the hearing. (AR 16.)

         The ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on August 2, 2013. (AR 16-24.) The Appeals Council denied review on March 26, 2015. (AR 4-6.)

         DISPUTED ISSUES

         As reflected in the Joint Stipulation, Plaintiff only raises the following disputed issue as a ground for reversal and remand:

1. Whether the ALJ properly determined that Plaintiff could perform the past relevant work.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court reviews the ALJ's decision to determine whether the ALJ's findings are supported by substantial evidence and free of legal error. Smolen v. Chater, 80 F.3d 1273, 1279 (9th Cir. 1996); see also DeLorme v. Sullivan, 924 F.2d 841, 846 (9th Cir. 1991) (ALJ's disability determination must be supported by substantial evidence and based on the proper legal standards).

         Substantial evidence means “‘more than a mere scintilla, ' but less than a preponderance.” Saelee v. Chater, 94 F.3d 520, 521-22 (9th Cir. 1996) (quoting Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971)). Substantial evidence is ‚Äúsuch relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a ...


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