United States District Court, C.D. California
SAGAR UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
April 24, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint seeking review of
the denial of her application for Supplemental Security
Income. (Docket Entry No. 1). The parties have consented to
proceed before the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge. (Docket Entry Nos. 11-12). On September 19, 2017,
Defendant filed an Answer along with the Administrative
Record (“AR”). (Docket Entry Nos. 15-16). The
parties filed a Joint Stipulation (“Joint Stip.”)
on February 8, 2018, setting forth their respective positions
regarding Plaintiff's claims. (Docket Entry No. 21).
Court has taken this matter under submission without oral
argument. See C.D. Cal. L.R. 7-15.
AND SUMMARY OF ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION
April 17, 2013, Plaintiff, formerly employed as a housekeeper
(see AR 73-76, 246), filed an application for
Supplemental Security Income, alleging an inability to work
because of disabling condition since July 20, 2010.
(See AR 51, 191-218). The Commissioner denied
Plaintiff's application initially on July 12, 2013 and on
reconsideration on January 29, 2014 (see AR 102,
16, 2015, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”),
Andrew Verne, heard testimony from Plaintiff, who was
represented by counsel and assisted by a Spanish language
interpreter, and vocational expert Joseph Henry Torres.
(See AR 67-90). On October 21, 2015, the ALJ issued
a decision denying Plaintiff's application. (See
AR 51-59). After determining that Plaintiff had severe
impairments -- “C4-C5 disc protraction; and status post
right knee arthroplasty” (AR 53) -- but did not
have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or
medically equaled the severity of one of the listed
impairments (AR 55), the ALJ found that Plaintiff had the
residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform medium work with the
following limitations: lifting and/or carrying 50 pounds
occasionally and 25 pounds frequently; standing and walking
for 6 hours in an 8-hour workday with normal breaks; sitting
for 6 hours in an 8-hour workday with normal breaks; climbing
ramps and/or stairs, ladders, ropes or scaffolds
occasionally; and stooping, kneeling, crouching and crawling
occasionally. (AR 55-58). The ALJ then determined that
Plaintiff was able to perform her past relevant work as a day
worker as actually and generally performed (AR 58-59), and
was therefore not disabled within the meaning of the Social
Security Act. (AR 59).
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review on
February 22, 2016. (See AR 1-4, 40). Plaintiff now
seeks judicial review of the ALJ's decision which stands
as the final decision of the Commissioner. See 42
U.S.C. §§ 405(g), 1383(c).
Court reviews the Administration's decision to determine
if it is free of legal error and supported by substantial
evidence. See Brewes v. Comm'r, 682 F.3d 1157,
1161 (9th Cir. 2012). “Substantial evidence” is
more than a mere scintilla, but less than a preponderance.
Garrison v. Colvin, 759 F.3d 995, 1009 (9th Cir.
2014). 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.”
Aukland v. Massanari, 257 F.3d 1033, 1035 (9th Cir.
2001) (internal quotation omitted). As a result, “[i]f
the evidence can support either affirming or reversing the
ALJ's conclusion, [a court] may not substitute [its]
judgment for that of the ALJ.” Robbins v. Soc. Sec.
Admin., 466 F.3d 880, 882 (9th Cir. 2006).
alleges that the ALJ erred in finding that Plaintiff had the
RFC to do medium work after February 2014.
(See Joint Stip. at 4-9, 13-16).
consideration of the record as a whole, the Court finds that
the Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial