United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner
of Social Security (“Commissioner”) finding
plaintiff was not disabled for purposes of receiving
Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title
II of the Social Security Act (“Act”). For the
reasons discussed below, the court will recommend that
plaintiff's motion for summary judgment be denied and the
Commissioner's cross-motion for summary judgment be
born March 30, 1965, applied on March 3, 2015 for DIB,
alleging disability beginning June 30, 2013. Administrative
Transcript (“AT”) 159-62. Plaintiff alleged he
was unable to work due to attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (“ADHD”), anxiety, degenerative disc
disease, degenerative joint disease, lumbar spine impairment,
and cervical spine impairment. AT 180. In a decision dated
February 24, 2016, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not
disabled. AT 11-21. The ALJ made the following
findings (citations to 20 C.F.R. omitted):
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2018.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since June 30, 2013, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), right elbow
epicondylitis, bilateral flat feet and cervical
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,
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform medium work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(c) except the claimant can sit, stand and/or
walk for six hours in an eight-hour day, must alternate
sitting and standing in one hour intervals, can frequently
reach with the right upper extremity, cannot perform
fast-paced work, cannot sustain intense concentration for
more than thirty minutes without a five minute change of
focus and may be absent or off task five percent of the time.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was born on March 30, 1965 and was 48 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the alleged disability onset date.
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English.
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 transferrable job skills.
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.
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from June 30, 2013, through the
date of this decision.
argues that the ALJ committed the following errors in finding
plaintiff not disabled: (1) improperly considered and weighed
the opinions of treating physicians Dr. Copeland and Dr. Reza
when determining plaintiff's residual functional capacity
(“RFC”); and (2) improperly found plaintiff's
testimony regarding the disabling nature of the symptoms
arising from his functional limitations less than fully
court reviews the Commissioner's decision to determine
whether (1) it is based on proper legal standards pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 405(g), and (2) substantial evidence in the
record as a whole supports it. Tackett v. Apfel, 180
F.3d 1094, 1097 (9th Cir. 1999). Substantial evidence is more
than a mere scintilla, but less than a preponderance.
Connett v. Barnhart, 340 F.3d 871, 873 (9th Cir.
2003) (citation omitted). It means “such relevant
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion.” Orn v. Astrue, 495 F.3d
625, 630 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Burch v. Barnhart,
400 F.3d 676, 679 (9th Cir. 2005)). “The ALJ is
responsible for determining credibility, resolving conflicts
in medical testimony, and resolving ambiguities.”
Edlund v. Massanari, 253 F.3d 1152, 1156 (9th ...