United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF REMAND
SAGAR UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
to Sentence 4 of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), IT IS HEREBY
ORDERED that this matter be remanded for further
administrative action consistent with this Opinion.
6, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint seeking review of the
denial of her application for Disability Insurance Benefits.
(Docket Entry No. 1). The parties have consented to proceed
before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge.
(Docket Entry Nos. 11, 13). On October 14, 2016, Defendant
filed an Answer along with the Administrative Record
(“AR”). (Docket Entry Nos. 16-17). On January 19,
2017, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation (“Joint
Stip.”) setting forth their respective positions
regarding Plaintiff's claims. (Docket Entry No. 18).
Court has taken this matter under submission without oral
argument. See C.D. Cal. L.R. 7-15; “Order Re:
Procedures In Social Security Case, ” filed June 7,
2016 (Docket Entry No. 9).
AND SUMMARY OF ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION
March 5, 2013, Plaintiff, formerly employed as a garment
labeler and as a mail room person in a cosmetic warehouse
(see AR 53-54, 204, 213-14, 235-36), filed an
application for Disability Insurance Benefits alleging an
inability to work because of a disability since March 12,
2009. (See AR 192-93). On December 2, 2014, the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”), Helen E. Hesse,
heard testimony from Plaintiff (represented by counsel), and
vocational expert Susan Allison. A Spanish interpreter was
present for Plaintiff. (See AR 39-72). On February
11, 2015, the ALJ issued a decision denying Plaintiff's
application. (See AR 20-29). After determining that
Plaintiff had severe impairments -- ”degenerative disc
disease of the lumbar and cervical spine; bilateral shoulder
impingement syndrome, status post arthroscopy with
manipulation for frozen shoulder; chronic pain syndrome; mild
depression; bilateral knee chondromalacia; and thoracic
outlet syndrome” (AR 22-24) --, the ALJ found that
Plaintiff had the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform light work with the
following limitations: sitting, standing and walking for 4
hours in an 8-hour workday with normal breaks; lifting and
carrying 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frquently;
climbing stairs, bending, balancing, stooping, kneeling,
crouching, or crawling occasionally; precluded from climbing
ropes, ladders, or scaffolding; performing gross and fine
manipulation frequently, but not continuously; peforming
overhead reaching with both upper extremities occcasionally;
performing moderately complex tasks with Specific Vocational
Preparation (“SVP”) 3 to 4 involving no
hypervigilence; precluded from being in charge of safety
operation of others; and precluded from intense interpersonal
interactions such as taking complaints or encounters similar
to those experienced by law enforcement or emergency
personnel. (AR 24-29). Finding that Plaintiff was capable of
performing past relevant work as a marker/tagger as actually
performed and as generally performed, the ALJ found that
Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Social
Security Act. (AR 29).
requested that the Appeals Council review the ALJ's
Decision. (See AR 9-13). The request was denied on
April 19, 2016. (See AR 1-5). The ALJ's Decision
then became the final decision of the Commissioner, allowing
this Court to review the decision. See 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g), 1383(c).
alleges that the ALJ erred in: (1) failing to give proper
weight to Plaintiff's treating physicians and evidence
favorable to Plaintiff; (2) finding that Plaintiff was
literate in English; and (3) finding that Plaintiff was not
fully credible with respect to her testimony regarding her
subjective pain and limitations. (See Joint Stip. at
4-9, 16-27, 33).
consideration of the record as a whole, the Court finds that
Plaintiff's first claim of error (in part) warrants a
remand for further consideration. Since the Court is
remanding the matter based on Plaintiff's first claim of
error (in part), the Court will not address Plaintiff's
first claim of error (in part), second claim of error, or
third claim of error.
The ALJ Did Not Properly Reject the Opinion of
Plaintiff's Treating Physician, Lawrence Miller, M.D.,
and Examining Physician Ernest Bagner, III, M.D.
asserts that the ALJ failed to provide specific and
legitimate reasons for rejecting the opinions of
Plaintiff's treating physicians, Drs. Miller, Schmidt,
Kahn, and Larsen. Plaintiff further asserts that the ALJ
failed to proved a proper reason for rejecting the opinion of
examining physician Dr. Bagner (See Joint Stip. at
4-9, 16- 17). Defendant asserts that the ALJ provided
valid reasons for giving ...