United States District Court, E.D. California
ANITA M. REHANA, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Defendant.
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”) and Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”) under Titles II and XVI
of the Social Security Act. The parties have filed
cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons discussed
below, plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is denied
and the Commissioner's motion is granted.
filed applications for a period of disability, DIB, and SSI,
alleging that she had been disabled since February 1,
2011. Administrative Record (“AR”)
183-198. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially
and upon reconsideration. Id. at 125-129, 134-139.
On March 4, 2014, a hearing was held before administrative
law judge (“ALJ”) Daniel G. Heely. Id.
at 40-62. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the
hearing, at which she and a vocational expert
(“VE”) testified. Id.
21, 2014, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff
was not disabled under sections 216(i), 223(d), and
1614(a)(3)(A) of the Act. Id. at 21-35. The ALJ made the
following specific findings
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2015.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since June 28, 2012, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
fibromyalgia syndrome; asthma; joint pain secondary to
osteoarthritis; a depressive disorder; a seizure disorder;
and post traumatic stress disorder (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and
4. 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).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except the claimant is limited
to simple, routine, and repetitive tasks; she is limited to
occasional public contact; she can never climb ladders, ropes
or scaffolds; she can occasionally climb ramps or stairs; she
can occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; she
can never work around hazards like moving dangerous machinery
or walking around unprotected heights; she cannot operate
motor vehicles or work around any other types of activities
in a work setting that may be considered prohibited by
someone with seizures; and she would have to avoid
concentrated exposure to fumes, odors, dusts, gases and other
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born [in] 1966 and was 46 years old,
which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the
alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964).
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the
determination of disability because using the
Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding
that the claimant is “not disabled, ” whether or
not the claimant has transferable job skills (See SSR 82-41
and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that the claimant can perform (20 CFR 404.1569, 404.1569(a),
416.969, and 416.969(a)).
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from June 28, 2012, through the
date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).
Id. at 23-35.
request for Appeals Council review was denied on October 30,
2015, leaving the ALJ's decision as the final decision of
the Commissioner. Id. at 2-6.
Commissioner's decision that a claimant is not disabled
will be upheld if the findings of fact are supported by
substantial evidence in the record and the proper legal
standards were applied. Schneider v. Comm'r of the
Soc. Sec. Admin., 223 F.3d 968, 973 (9th Cir. 2000);
Morgan v. Comm'r of the Soc. Sec. Admin., 169
F.3d 595, 599 (9th Cir. 1999); Tackett v. Apfel, 180
F.3d 1094, 1097 (9th Cir. 1999).
findings of the Commissioner as to any fact, if supported by
substantial evidence, are conclusive. See Miller v.
Heckler, 770 F.2d 845, 847 (9th Cir. 1985). Substantial
evidence is more than a mere scintilla, but less than a
preponderance. Saelee v. Chater, 94 F.3d 520, 521
(9th Cir. 1996). “‘It means such evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.'” R ...