United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
E. SCOTT United States Magistrate Judge.
Ernest Maniquez (“Plaintiff”) appeals the final
decision of the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
denying his application for Social Security Disability
Insurance benefits (“DIB”). For the reasons
discussed below, the ALJ's decision is AFFIRMED.
applied for DIB on February 24, 2014, alleging disability
commencing August 6, 2013. Administrative Record
(“AR”) 102-105. An ALJ conducted a hearing on
August 18, 2014, at which Plaintiff, who was represented by
an attorney, appeared and testified. AR 35-67.
March 27, 2015, the ALJ issued a written decision denying
Plaintiff's request for benefits. AR 16-33. The ALJ found
that Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: deep
venous thrombosis; villous adenocarcinoma of the rectum,
status post excision of the transanal lesion; hypertension;
diabetes mellitus; and diverticulosis. AR 14. Notwithstanding
his impairments, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff had the
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform
light work with the following additional limitations: he can
lift and carry twenty pounds occasionally and ten pounds
frequently; he can stand and walk, with normal breaks, for
six hours in an eight-hour workday; he can sit, with normal
breaks, for six hours in an eight-hour workday; and he can
occasionally climb, balance, kneel, crouch, crawl, and stoop.
AR 15. Based on this RFC and the testimony of a vocational
expert (“VE”), the ALJ found that Plaintiff could
return to his past relevant work as a purchasing agent and
marketing representative. AR 18. Therefore, the ALJ concluded
that Plaintiff is not disabled. Id.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g), a district court may review the
Commissioner's decision to deny benefits. The ALJ's
findings and decision should be upheld if they are free from
legal error and are supported by substantial evidence based
on the record as a whole. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g);
Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971);
Parra v. Astrue, 481 F.3d 742, 746 (9th Cir. 2007).
Substantial evidence means such relevant evidence as a
reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion. Richardson, 402 U.S. at 401;
Lingenfelter v. Astrue, 504 F.3d 1028, 1035 (9th
Cir. 2007). It is more than a scintilla, but less than a
preponderance. Lingenfelter, 504 F.3d at 1035
(citing Robbins v. Comm'r of SSA, 466 F.3d 880,
882 (9th Cir. 2006)). To determine whether substantial
evidence supports a finding, the reviewing court “must
review the administrative record as a whole, weighing both
the evidence that supports and the evidence that detracts
from the Commissioner's conclusion.” Reddick v.
Chater, 157 F.3d 715, 720 (9th Cir. 1998). “If the
evidence can reasonably support either affirming or
reversing, ” the reviewing court “may not
substitute its judgment” for that of the Commissioner.
Id. at 720-21.
determining a claimant's RFC, the ALJ should consider
those limitations for which there is support in the record,
but the ALJ need not consider properly rejected evidence of
subjective complaints. Bayliss v. Barnhart, 427 F.3d
1211, 1217 (9th Cir. 2005) (“Preparing a
function-by-function analysis for medical conditions or
impairments that the ALJ found neither credible nor supported
by the record is unnecessary.”); Batson v.
Comm'r of SSA, 359 F.3d 1190, 1197 (9th Cir. 2004)
(“The ALJ was not required to incorporate evidence from
the opinions of Batson's treating physicians, which were
decision of the ALJ will not be reversed for errors that are
harmless.” Burch v. Barnhart, 400 F.3d 676,
679 (9th Cir. 2005). Generally, an error is harmless if it
either “occurred during a procedure or step the ALJ was
not required to perform, ” or if it “was
inconsequential to the ultimate non-disability
determination.” Stout v. Comm'r of SSA,
454 F.3d 1050, 1055 (9th Cir. 2006).
raises one claim of error: that the ALJ did not properly
consider Plaintiff's testimony. Joint Stipulation
(“JS”) at 4.
The ALJ properly discounted Plaintiff's ...