United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. STANDISH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Michael Hall (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint
seeking review of Defendant Commissioner of Social
Security's (“Commissioner”) denial of his
application for Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”). The parties filed consents to proceed
before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge [Dkts.
10, 11] and briefs addressing disputed issues in the case
[Dkt. 17 (“Pltf.'s Br.”); Dkt. 16
(“Def.'s Br.”)]. The Court has taken the
parties' briefing under submission without oral argument.
For the reasons discussed below, the Court affirms the
decision of the Commissioner.
ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION UNDER REVIEW
September 12, 2012, Plaintiff filed an application for DIB,
alleging that he became disabled as of January 19, 2012.
[Dkt. 14, Administrative Record (“AR”) 12.] The
Commissioner denied his initial claim for benefits on
February 5, 2013, and then denied his claim upon
reconsideration on August 7, 2013. [Id.] On May 8,
2014, a hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) Ariel L. Sotolongo. [AR 25-65.] The ALJ
issued a decision denying Plaintiff's request for
benefits on July 25, 2014. [AR 9-24.] Plaintiff requested
review from the Appeals Council, but the Appeals Council
denied his request for review on January 8, 2015. [AR 1-4.]
the five-step sequential evaluation process, the ALJ found
that Plaintiff was not disabled. See 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(b)-(g)(1). At step one, the ALJ
concluded that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial
gainful activity since the alleged onset date of January 19,
2012 through his date last insured of June 30, 2012. [AR 14
(citing C.F.R. § 404.1571 et seq.).] At step
two, the ALJ found that Plaintiff suffered from the following
severe impairments: degenerative lumbar disease, with chronic
low back pain; seizure disorder; and diabetic neuropathy.
[Id. (citing 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(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 455
(citing 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1; 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526).]
found that Plaintiff had the following residual functional
[L]ight work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b). The claimant
can lift/carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds
frequently. He can stand/walk 4 hours and sit 4 hours each in
an 8-hour workday. The claimant requires a sit/stand option
allowing the claimant to alternate positions about once per
hour. The claimant can engage in occasional stooping. The
claimant is subject to seizure precautions, including
avoiding hazards such as unprotected heights and working
around dangerous machinery.
[AR 15.] Applying this RFC, the ALJ found that
Plaintiff is capable of performing past relevant work as a
customer service clerk (DOT 241.367-014) and telemarketer
(DOT 299.357-014) and, thus, is not disabled. [AR 19-20.]
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.
contends that the ALJ: (1) erred in the assessment of his
credibility and (2) erred in the assessment of weight
accorded to the opinions of the treating, examining, and
non-examining physicians. [Pltf.'s Br. at 1-2.] The Court
The ALJ's Opinion Provides At Least One Clear and
Convincing Reason ...