United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S SOCIAL SECURITY
Barbara A. McAuliffe UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Jason Webber (“Plaintiff”) seeks judicial review
of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security
(“Commissioner”) denying his application for
disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) pursuant to
Title II of the Social Security Act. The matter is currently
before the Court on the parties' briefs, which were
submitted, without oral argument, to the Honorable Magistrate
Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe. Having carefully considered the
parties' briefs as well as the entire record in this
case, the Court finds the decision of the Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) to be supported by substantial
evidence in the record as a whole and based upon proper legal
standards. Accordingly, this Court affirms the agency's
determination to deny benefits.
22, 2012, Plaintiff filed his current application for
disability insurance benefits, alleging disability beginning
April 29, 2011. AR 10. The Commissioner initially denied
Plaintiff's claim on October 29, 2012. AR 10. Thereafter,
Plaintiff filed a timely request for a hearing on July 17,
2013. AR 102. On May 19, 2014, Plaintiff testified at the
hearing. AR 27-28. On July 14, 2014, ALJ John Heyer denied
Plaintiff's application. AR 22. On July 14, 2014, the
Appeals Council denied review. AR 1. This appeal followed.
held an administrative hearing on May 19, 2014, in San
Francisco, California. AR 27. At the hearing, Plaintiff
appeared and testified with the help of an attorney, and the
ALJ sought testimony from vocational expert
(“VE”) Joel Greenberg. AR 27-28.
was born on June 29, 1967, and was 46 years old at the time
of the hearing. AR 30. Prior to his alleged disability,
Plaintiff worked for eight years as a merchandiser and
salesman for Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream. AR 30-31.
Plaintiff was also previously employed at Vons Grocery Store
for one year, as a night clerk primarily stocking shelves,
and before that, as a technician for California Streamers. AR
31-32. Plaintiff also has five years of experience working in
the construction industry. AR 32-33. Plaintiff claims he is
not able to perform in any of his previous employment
capacities due to fibromyalgia and persistent pain in his
knee. AR 30.
asked about a typical day, Plaintiff testified that he gets
assistance getting out of bed in the morning, does not drive,
vacuum, sweep, clean, cook, do laundry, go for walks, do
yardwork, or any chores. AR 30, 36-38. He does not watch much
television, and he typically does not read or use the
computer for more than fifteen minutes. AR 37-38. He is
restless and in pain throughout the night, and he has
difficulty showering and cleaning himself. AR 41.
asked about his limitations, Plaintiff testified that he
could lift five pounds, stand for about fifteen to twenty
minutes, walk for about fifteen to twenty minutes, and sit
for about thirty minutes at a time. AR 35. Plaintiff
testified that walking makes his knee swell which later
requires his knee to be iced and elevated. AR 45. If he puts
too much pressure on his knee over the course of a day, that
may leave Plaintiff incapacitated for the following three
days. AR 45. In all, Plaintiff spends about five hours a day
sitting in his recliner with his knee elevated. AR 46.
the ALJ elicited the testimony of VE Greenberg. AR 50. Over
several hypothetical questions, the VE testified that a
hypothetical individual who can lift more than 10 pounds, sit
for six hours in an eight hour day, and stand and walk for
two hours in an eight hour day but who is limited to simple
repetitive tasks with no public contact could perform
sedentary unskilled work as an election clerk,
inspector/table worker, and a small products assembly worker.
entire medical record was reviewed by the Court. The Court
will reference the medical evidence to the extent it is
necessary to the Court's decision. AR 229-401.