United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
FREDERICK F. MUMM United States Magistrate Judge
brings this action seeking to overturn the decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration denying her applications for Disability
Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income.
Plaintiff and defendant consented to the jurisdiction of the
undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(c). Pursuant to the March 8, 2016, Case
Management Order, on September 20, 2016, the parties filed a
Joint Stipulation (“JS”) detailing each
party's arguments and authorities. The Court has reviewed
the administrative record (the “AR”), filed on
June 21, 2016, and the Joint Stipulation. For the reasons
stated below, the decision of the Commissioner is affirmed.
October 31, 2012, plaintiff applied for Supplemental Security
Income. (AR 101.) Plaintiff's application was denied
initially and on review. (AR 101-46.) Plaintiff then
requested a hearing before an administrative law judge
(“ALJ”). (AR 164-70.) On March 24, 2014, ALJ
Nancy M. Stewart held a hearing. (AR 27-56.) Plaintiff was
present with counsel and testified at the hearing. (See
September 9, 2014, the ALJ denied plaintiff benefits in a
written decision. (AR 8-22.) Based on her review of the
evidence, the ALJ determined that plaintiff possesses the
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform
“light work” subject to numerous accompanying
limitations. (AR 16.) Ultimately, the ALJ found that
plaintiff can perform work that exists in significant numbers
in the national economy and, therefore, is not disabled. (AR
November 27, 2015, the Appeals Council denied review. (AR
1-3.) Thereafter, plaintiff initiated this action.
raises two contentions in this action:
Whether the ALJ improperly determined that plaintiff does not
suffer from a severe mental impairment.
Whether the ALJ failed to properly consider the opinions of
42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court reviews the
Administration's decisions to determine if: (1) the
Administration's findings are supported by substantial
evidence; and (2) the Administration used proper legal
standards. Smolen v. Chater, 80 F.3d 1273, 1279 (9th
Cir. 1996) (citations omitted). “Substantial evidence
is more than a scintilla, but less than a
preponderance.” Reddick v. Chater, 157 F.3d
715, 720 (9th Cir. 1998) (citation omitted). To determine
whether substantial evidence supports a finding, “a
court must consider the record as a whole, weighing both
evidence that supports and evidence that detracts from the
[Commissioner's] conclusion.” Auckland v.
Massanari, 257 F.3d 1033, 1035 (9th Cir. 2001) (internal
quotation marks omitted).
evidence in the record can reasonably support either
affirming or reversing the ALJ's conclusion, the Court
may not substitute its judgment for that of the ALJ.
Robbins v. Soc. Sec. Admin., 466 F.3d 880, 882 (9th
Cir. 2006) (citing Flaten v. Sec'y of Health &
Human Servs., 44 F.3d 1453, 1457 (9th Cir. 1995).
However, even if substantial evidence exists to support the
Commissioner's decision, the decision must be reversed if
the proper legal ...