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Kent v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 29, 2017

PATTI KENT, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER

          CAROLYN K. DELANEY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) denying an application for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act (“Act”). For the reasons discussed below, the court will deny plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and grant the Commissioner's cross-motion for summary judgment.

          BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, born July 5, 1962, applied on April 30, 2012 for SSI, alleging disability beginning June 1, 2011. Administrative Transcript (“AT”) 90. Plaintiff alleged she was unable to work due to severe anxiety and depression, Hepatitis C, degenerative disk disease, arthritis, fused vertebrae, and torn discs. AT 90. In a decision dated January 30, 2014, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled.[1] AT 120-135. The Appeals Council granted plaintiff's request for review and remanded for another hearing and decision. AT 136-140. At the second hearing in November 2015, the ALJ took testimony from plaintiff and a vocational expert. AT 57-87. In his January 2016 decision (AT 14-33), the ALJ made the following findings (citations to 20 C.F.R. omitted):

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 30, 2012, the application date.
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and affective disorder.
3. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform less than the full range of light work. Specifically, the claimant could lift and/or carry ten pounds frequently, twenty pounds occasionally; she could six for six hours out of an eight-hour workday; she could stand and/or walk for six hours out of an eight-hour workday; she could frequently climb ramps and stairs and stoop; she could occasionally climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; she could occasionally reach overhead; she is to avoid all exposure to extreme cold, fumes, dusts, gases, poor ventilation, and hazards; and she is limited to simple unskilled nonpublic work with occasional interaction with coworkers.
5. The claimant has no past relevant work.
6. The claimant was born on July 5, 1962, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49 on the date the application was filed. The claimant subsequently changed age category to closely approaching advanced age.
7. The claimant has a limited education and is able to communicate in English.
8. Transferability of job skills is not an issue in this case because the claimant does not have past relevant work.
9. 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.
10. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, since April 30, 2012, the date the application was filed.

AT 19-29.

         ISSUES ...


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