United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. STANDISH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Anthony Lee (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint
seeking review of Defendant Commissioner of Social
Security's (“Commissioner”) denial of his
application for Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”). The parties filed consents to proceed
before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge [Dkts.
11, 13] and briefs addressing disputed issues in the case
[Dkt. 17 (“Pltf.'s Br.”) and Dkt. 19
(“Def.'s Br.”), Dkt. 20 (“Pltf.'s
Reply).] The Court has taken the parties' briefing under
submission without oral argument. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court affirms the decision of the ALJ and orders
judgment entered accordingly.
ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION UNDER REVIEW
January 31, 2014, Plaintiff filed an application for SSI,
alleging that he became disabled as of December 1, 2012.
[Dkt. 16, Administrative Record (“AR”) 23,
169-178.] The Commissioner denied his initial claim for
benefits on July 2, 2014 and upon reconsideration on October
13, 2014. [AR 75-95.] On January 26, 2016, a hearing was held
before Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Richard
T. Breen. [AR 36-73.] On May 4, 2016, the ALJ issued a
decision denying Plaintiff's request for benefits. [AR
23-35.] Plaintiff requested review from the Appeals Council,
which denied review on March 1, 2017. [AR 1-7.]
the five-step sequential evaluation process, the ALJ found
that Plaintiff was not disabled. See 20 C.F.R.
§§ 416.920(b)-(g)(1). At step one, the ALJ
concluded that Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial
gainful activity since January 31, 2014, the application
date. [AR 25.] At step two, the ALJ found that Plaintiff
suffered from the following severe impairments: status post
left foot ganglion cyst removal; bilateral knee
osteoarthritis; and obesity. [Id. (citing 20 C.F.R.
§ 416.920(c)).] Next, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff
did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that
meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed
impairments. [AR 26 (citing 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1; 20 C.F.R. §§ 416.920(d), 416.925, and
found that Plaintiff had the following residual functional
[L]ight work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b) except he can
only occasionally climb, kneel, crouch and/or crawl.
[AR 26-27.] Applying this RFC, the ALJ found that
Plaintiff was unable to perform past relevant work, but
determined that based on his age (51 years old at the time of
application), limited education, and ability to communicate
in English, he could perform representative occupations such
as cashier II (Dictionary of Occupational Titles
(“DOT”) 211.462-010), shoe packer (DOT
920.687-166), and storage clerk (DOT 295.367-026) and, thus,
is not disabled. [AR 30-31.]
42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the Court reviews the
Commissioner's decision to determine if: (1) the
Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial
evidence; and (2) the Commissioner used correct legal
standards. See Carmickle v. Comm'r Soc. Sec.
Admin., 533 F.3d 1155, 1159 (9th Cir. 2008); Hoopai
v. Astrue, 499 F.3d 1071, 1074 (9th Cir. 2007).
Substantial evidence is “such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S.
389, 401 (1971) (internal citation and quotations omitted);
see also Hoopai, 499 F.3d at 1074.
sole claim is that the ALJ improperly found Plaintiff's
testimony not fully credible. [Pltf.'s Br. at 6-11.]
response to a pain questionnaire, Plaintiff stated that he
has left knee and left foot pain as well as
migraines. Plaintiff reported that his left extremity
pain is aggravated by walking, wearing shoes, and not keeping
his leg elevated. [AR 209-210.] Plaintiff also stated in his
function report that he is unable to stand for prolonged
periods and “walking is a struggle.” [AR 213.]
Plaintiff needs to sit down in order to shave and get
dressed. [AR 214.] He uses a cane, crutches, and walker to
assist with mobility. [AR 219.] Plaintiff testified at the
hearing that he “can't stand up too good” and
wears two knee braces, which his doctor prescribed. [AR
49-50.] Plaintiff testified that his knees and left ...