United States District Court, E.D. California
JESSICA G. ROMINGQUET, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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
Plaintiff, born August 10, 1974, applied on April 10, 2013
for SSI, alleging disability beginning January 2, 2002.
Administrative Transcript (“AT”) 54, 140-144.
Plaintiff alleged she was unable to work due to arthritis,
scoliosis, depression and inability to stand for long. AT
decision dated November 4, 2014, the ALJ determined that
plaintiff was not disabled. AT 22-29. 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 10, 2013, the application date.
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: back
disorder, right shoulder disorder, arthritis, and obesity.
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 sedentary work, but she can
never kneel, crawl, or climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds.
She can only occasionally balance, stoop, crouch, and climb
ramps and stairs. She must avoid concentrated exposure to
hazards, which are defined as operational control of
dangerous moving machinery and unprotected heights. She is
also limited to jobs that can be performed while using a
hand-held assistive device required for uneven terrain or
5. The claimant has no past relevant work.
6. The claimant was born on August 10, 1974 and was 38 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44, on
the date the application was filed.
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 10, 2013, the date
the application was filed.
argues that the ALJ committed the following errors in finding
plaintiff not disabled: (1) the ALJ's reasons for
according “little weight” to the majority the
opinion of Dr. Senegor, plaintiff's treating
neurosurgeon, are not supported by substantial evidence; (2)
the ALJ erred by failing to properly consider plaintiff's
right shoulder impairment; (3) The ALJ erred in his
evaluation of plaintiff's credibility; and (4) the
Commissioner failed to sustain her burden of establishing
that there is other work in the national economy that
plaintiff can perform.
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 Cir.
2001) (citations omitted). “The court will uphold the
ALJ's conclusion when the evidence is susceptible to more
than one rational interpretation.” Tommasetti v.
Astrue, 533 F.3d 1035, 1038 (9th Cir. 2008).
record as a whole must be considered, Howard v.
Heckler, 782 F.2d 1484, 1487 (9th Cir. 1986), and both
the evidence that supports and the evidence that detracts
from the ALJ's conclusion weighed. See Jones v.
Heckler, 760 F.2d 993, 995 (9th Cir. 1985). The court
may not affirm the ALJ's decision simply by isolating a
specific quantum of supporting evidence. Id.;
see also Hammock v. Bowen, 879 F.2d 498, 501 (9th
Cir. 1989). If substantial evidence supports the
administrative findings, or if there is conflicting evidence
supporting a finding of either disability or nondisability,
the finding of the ALJ is conclusive, see Sprague v.
Bowen, 812 F.2d 1226, ...