Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Obrien v. Berryhill

United States District Court, C.D. California

April 25, 2017

PATRICK GERARD OBRIEN, Plaintiff
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL [1], Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          GAIL J. STANDISH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiff Patrick Gerard Obrien (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint seeking review of Defendant Commissioner of Social Security's (“Commissioner”) denial of his application for Supplement Security Income (“SSI”). The parties filed consents to proceed before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge [Dkts. 11, 12] and briefs addressing disputed issues in the case [Dkt. 19 (“Pltf.'s Br.”); Dkt. 23 (“Def.'s Br.”)]. The Court has taken the parties' briefing under submission without oral argument. For the reasons set forth below, the Court affirms the decision of the ALJ and orders judgment entered accordingly.

         II. ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION UNDER REVIEW

         On May 19, 2014, Plaintiff filed an application for SSI, alleging that he became disabled as of March 1, 2008. [Dkt. 15, Administrative Record (“AR”) 15, 141-149.] The Commissioner denied his initial claim for benefits in September 2014 and then denied his claim upon reconsideration in May 2015. [AR 15, 46-82.] On January 6, 2016, a hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Jay E. Levine. [AR 30-46.] On February 2, 2016, the ALJ issued a decision denying Plaintiff's request for benefits. [12-29.] Plaintiff requested review from the Appeals Council on April 3, 2016, but the Appeals Council denied his request for review on July 25, 2016. [AR 7-11.]

         Applying the five-step sequential evaluation process, the ALJ found that Plaintiff was not disabled. See 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(b)-(g)(1). At step one, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the application date. [AR 17.] At step two, the ALJ found that Plaintiff suffered from the following severe impairments: status post triple bypass surgery, status post multiple myocardial infarctions/heart attacks, and bilateral torn rotator cuffs. [Id. (citing 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(c).] Next, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments. [AR 18 (citing 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1; 20 C.F.R. §§ 416.920(d), 416.925, and 416.926).]

         The ALJ found that Plaintiff had the following residual functional capacity (RFC):

[M]edium work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(c) except he may not lift above shoulder level with either upper extremity.

[AR 18.] Applying this RFC, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had no past relevant work, but determined that based on his age (61 years old), high school education, and ability to communicate in English, he could perform representative occupations such as hand packager (DOT 920.587-018), food mixer (DOT 520.687-034), and inspector-packager (DOT 920.587-018) and, thus, is not disabled. [AR 23-24.]

         III. GOVERNING STANDARD

         Under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the Court reviews the Commissioner's decision to determine if: (1) the Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial evidence; and (2) the Commissioner used correct legal standards. See Carmickle v. Comm'r Soc. Sec. Admin., 533 F.3d 1155, 1159 (9th Cir. 2008); Hoopai v. Astrue, 499 F.3d 1071, 1074 (9th Cir. 2007). Substantial evidence is “such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971) (internal citation and quotations omitted); see also Hoopai, 499 F.3d at 1074.

         IV. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff contends that the ALJ erred in finding that his adjustment disorder mixed with anxiety and depression were not severe. [Pltf.'s Br. at 9-13.] The Commissioner argues that substantial evidence supports the ALJ's finding that Plaintiff did not have a severe mental impairment. [Def.'s Br. at 2.]

         At step two of the sequential evaluation process, a plaintiff has the burden to present evidence of medical signs, symptoms, and laboratory findings that establish a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that is severe and can be expected to result in death or last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. Ukolov v. Barnhart, 420 F.3d 1002, 1004-05 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing 42 U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(3), 1382c(a)(3)(D)); see also 20 C.F.R. §§ 416.912, 416.921. Substantial evidence supports an ALJ's determination that a claimant is not disabled at step two when “there are no medical signs or laboratory findings to substantiate the existence of a medically determinable physical or mental ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.