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Bayhi v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. California

February 27, 2018

CLAUDIA BAYHI, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          DEBORAH BARNES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This social security action was submitted to the undersigned without oral argument for ruling on plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment.[1] For the reasons explained below, the undersigned recommends that plaintiff's motion be denied, the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) be affirmed, and this matter be closed.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On April 18, 2012, plaintiff filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security Act (“the Act”), alleging disability beginning on October 1, 2011. (Transcript (“Tr.”) at 140-43.) Plaintiff's application was denied initially, (id. at 86-89), and upon reconsideration. (Id. at 95-101.) Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing and a hearing was held before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) on October 16, 2014. (Id. at 34-49.) Plaintiff was represented by an attorney and testified at the administrative hearing. (Id. at 34-37.)

         In a decision issued on January 30, 2015, the ALJ found that plaintiff was not disabled. (Id. at 29.) The ALJ entered the following findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2016.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 1, 2011, the alleged onset date (20 C.F.R. § 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: bilateral hallux valgus, degenerative joint disease of the joints of the feet, obesity, an affective disorder, and a substance abuse disorder (20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(c)).
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that the claimant has the residual functional physical capacity to perform light work, as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b). She retains the aptitudes and abilities to engage in simple, repetitive tasks equating to unskilled work with limited public interaction.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 C.F.R. § 404.1565).
7. The claimant was born on January 23, 1961, was fifty years old, which is defined as an individual closely approaching advanced age, on the alleged disability onset date (20 C.F.R. § 404.1563).
8. The claimant has a limited education and is able to communicate in English (20 C.F.R. § 404.1564).
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the determination of disability because using the Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding that the claimant is “not disabled” whether or not the claimant has transferable job skills (see SSR 82-41 and 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
10. 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 (20 C.F.R. § 404.1569 and 404.1569(a)).
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, at any time from October 1, 2011, through the date of this decision (20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(g)).

(Id. at 19-29.)

         On July 28, 2016, the Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review of the ALJ's January 30, 2015 decision. (Id. at 1-3.) Plaintiff sought judicial review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 405(g) by filing ...


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