United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
G. ROSENBERG United States Magistrate Judge.
filed this action on June 20, 2016. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c), the parties consented to proceed before the
magistrate judge. (Dkt. Nos. 7, 10.) On April 27, 2017, the
parties filed a Joint Stipulation (“JS”) that
addressed the disputed issues. The court has taken the matter
under submission without oral argument.
reviewed the entire file, the court reverses the decision of
the Commissioner and remands for reconsideration of whether
Bigolin (1) requires a sit/stand option; and (2) is capable
of performing occasional postural activities such as
climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching and
28, 2013, Bigolin filed an application for disability
insurance benefits and alleged an onset date of March 25,
2013. Administrative Record (“AR”) 11. The
application was denied initially and on reconsideration. AR
11, 60, 73. Bigolin requested a hearing before an
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). On December 12,
2014, the ALJ conducted a hearing at which Bigolin and a
vocational expert testified. AR 27-47. On January 30, 2015,
the ALJ issued a decision denying benefits. AR 8-23. On April
25, 2016, the Appeals Council denied the request for review.
AR 1-3. This action followed.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this court has authority to
review the Commissioner's decision to deny benefits. The
decision will be disturbed only if it is not supported by
substantial evidence, or if it is based upon the application
of improper legal standards. Moncada v. Chater, 60
F.3d 521, 523 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam); Drouin v.
Sullivan, 966 F.2d 1255, 1257 (9th Cir. 1992).
evidence” means “more than a mere scintilla but
less than a preponderance - it is such relevant evidence that
a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support the
conclusion.” Moncada, 60 F.3d at 523. In
determining whether substantial evidence exists to support
the Commissioner's decision, the court examines the
administrative record as a whole, considering adverse as well
as supporting evidence. Drouin, 966 F.2d at 1257.
When the evidence is susceptible to more than one rational
interpretation, the court must defer to the
Commissioner's decision. Moncada, 60 F.3d at
person qualifies as disabled, and thereby eligible for such
benefits, “only if his physical or mental impairment or
impairments are of such severity that he is not only unable
to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age,
education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of
substantial gainful work which exists in the national
economy.” Barnhart v. Thomas, 540 U.S. 20,
21-22, 124 S.Ct. 376, 157 L.Ed.2d 333 (2003) (citation and
quotation marks omitted).
The ALJ's Findings
found that Bigolin met the insured status requirements
through December 31, 2017. AR 13. Following the five-step
sequential analysis applicable to disability determinations,
Lounsburry v. Barnhart, 468 F.3d 1111, 1114 (9th
Cir. 2006), the ALJ found that Bigolin had the severe
impairments of post-traumatic osteoarthritis of the left
knee, status post 12 knee surgeries; internal derangement of
the left knee post arthroscopic surgery; lumbar
musculoligamentous strain with lumbar radiculopathy;
iliotibial band friction syndrome; migraines; insomnia;
bilateral knee pain with tingling of left knee to toes; and
intermittent asthma. AR 13.
found that Bigolin had the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform sedentary work except that she
cannot push or pull with the left lower extremity; she can
occasionally perform postural activities such as climbing,
balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching and crawling but
cannot climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds; and she must avoid
concentrated exposure to pulmonary irritants such as fumes,
odors, dusts and gases, and hazards such as machinery and
heights. AR 16. She is unable to perform past relevant work
but there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the
national economy that she can perform, such as addressor,
telephone quotation clerk and document preparer. AR 20-22.
determine whether a claimant's testimony regarding
subjective pain or symptoms is credible, an ALJ must engage
in a two-step analysis.” Lingenfelter v.
Astrue, 504 F.3d 1028, 1035-36 (9th Cir. 2007). At step
one, “the ALJ must determine whether the claimant has
presented objective medical evidence of an underlying
impairment ‘which could reasonably be expected to
produce the pain or ...