United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DIRECTING ENTRY OF JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF
DEFENDANT NANCY BERRYHILL, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
SECURITY, AND AGAINST PLAINTIFF MICHAEL JOHN CLAMP
S. Austin, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Michael John Clamp (“Plaintiff”), seeks judicial
review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social
Security (“Commissioner” or
“Defendant”) 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 Gary S.
Austin, United States Magistrate Judge. (See,
Docs. 21 and 23). Upon a review of the entire record, the
Court finds that the ALJ applied the correct legal standards
and the decision is supported by substantial evidence.
Accordingly, the Court AFFIRMS the agency's disability
determination and DENIES Plaintiff's appeal.
FACTS AND PRIOR PROCEEDINGS
filed an application for DIB due to bipolar disorder,
depression, severe neuropathy, anal/rectal pain, and high
cholesterol. AR 14; 234. The parties agree that the Plaintiff
properly exhausted his administrative remedies and that the
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's appeal. (Doc. 21, pg.
2 and Doc. 23, pg. 2). Therefore, this appeal is a review of
Administrative Law Judge Cynthia Floyd's
(“ALJ”) decision issued on October 17, 2014,
which is considered the Commissioner's final order. See,
42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g), 1383(c)(3). AR 11-22.
Summary of the Medical Record
Court has reviewed the entire medical record. Relevant
portions of the record will be referenced in the discussion
where appropriate. AR 318-840.
THE DISABILITY STANDARD
qualify for benefits under the Social Security Act, a
plaintiff must establish that he or she is unable to engage
in substantial gainful activity due to a medically
determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted or
can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less
than twelve months. 42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)(A). An
individual shall be considered to have a disability 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, regardless of
whether such work exists in the immediate area in which he
lives, or whether a specific job vacancy exists for him, or
whether he would be hired if he applied for work. 42 U.S.C.
achieve uniformity in the decision-making process, the
Commissioner has established a sequential five-step process
for evaluating a claimant's alleged disability. 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1520(a). The ALJ proceeds through the steps and
stops upon reaching a dispositive finding that the claimant
is or is not disabled. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4). The
ALJ must consider objective medical evidence and opinion
testimony. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1513.
the ALJ is required to determine: (1) whether a claimant
engaged in substantial gainful activity during the period of
alleged disability; (2) whether the claimant had
medically-determinable “severe” impairments; (3)
whether these impairments meet or are medically equivalent to
one of the listed impairments set forth in 20 C.F.R. §
404, Subpart P, Appendix 1; (4) whether the claimant retained
the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to
perform his past relevant work; and (5) whether the claimant
had the ability to perform other jobs existing in significant
numbers at the regional and national level. 20 C.F.R. §
IV. SUMMARY OF THE ...