United States District Court, E.D. California
F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner
of Social Security (“Commissioner”) denying her
applications for a period of disability and Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), disabled widow's
benefits, and Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) under Titles II and XVI of the Social
Security Act. The parties' cross-motions for summary
judgment are pending. For the reasons discussed below,
plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is denied and the
Commissioner's cross-motion is granted.
filed applications for a period of disability, DIB,
widow's insurance benefits, and SSI, alleging that she
had been disabled since January 31, 2007. Administrative
Record (“AR”) 234, 319-322. Plaintiff's
applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration.
Id. at 243-252, 254-261. On July 31, 2014, a hearing
was held before administrative law judge (“ALJ”)
Vincent Misenti. Id. at 43-89. Plaintiff was
represented by counsel at the hearing, at which she and a
vocational expert (“VE”) testified. Id.
September 2, 2014, the ALJ issued an amended decision finding
that plaintiff was not disabled under sections 216(i),
223(d), 202(e) and 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Act. Id. at
13-23. The ALJ made the following specific findings:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2016.
2. It was previously found that the claimant is the unmarried
widow of the deceased insured worker and has attained the age
of 50. The claimant met the non-disability requirements for
disabled widow's benefits set forth in section 202(e) of
the Social Security Act.
3. The prescribed period ends on August 31, 2016.
4. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since January 31, 2007, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
5. The claimant has the following severe impairments: carpal
tunnel syndrome (hereinafter “CTS”); chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (hereinafter
“COPD”); status post left eye aneurysm; and
anxiety disorder (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
* * *
6. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526,
416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
* * *
7. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to lift and carry 50 pounds occasionally
and 25 pounds frequently, and stand, sit, and walk up to 6
hours in an 8-hour workday. She is able to occasionally
engage in overhead reaching with her left upper extremity.
All other reaching is limited to frequent. The claimant is
capable of frequent handling and fingering with her left
hand. She is able to occasionally climb ramps and stairs, but
is precluded from climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. The
claimant should avoid working around hazards such as
machinery and heights. She is able to work around ordinary
hazards in the workplace, such as boxes on the floor, doors
ajar or approaching people or vehicles. The claimant is able
[sic] to read very small print, but is able to read ordinary
newsprint or bulk print. She is precluded from engaging in
commercial driving. The claimant is able to frequently
socially interact with coworkers, and occasionally interact
with the public.
* * *
8. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as a housekeeper. This work does not require the performance
of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's