United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER REVERSING AND REMANDING
DECISION OF THE COMMISSIONER
Alexander F. MacKinnon United States Magistrate Judge.
seeks review of the Commissioner's final decision denying
his application for disability insurance benefits. In
accordance with the Court's case management order, the
parties have filed briefs addressing the merits of the
disputed issues. This matter is now ready for decision.
claim for disability insurance benefits was denied initially
and on reconsideration. An Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) held a hearing at which Plaintiff, his
attorney, and a Vocational Expert (“VE”) were
present. (AR 55-72.) The ALJ issued a decision on April 4,
2017, finding that Plaintiff suffered from the following
severe impairments: degenerative disc disease and a history
of advanced left knee osteoarthritis status post left knee
total knee arthroplasty. (AR 23.) The ALJ determined that
Plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform light work, except he was
limited to standing and walking 2 hours out of an 8-hour
workday; he required the use of a cane as needed for
prolonged ambulation; he was limited to occasional postural
activities, but barred from climbing ladders, scaffolds or
ropes; and he was barred from all exposure to unprotected
heights or dangerous machinery. (AR 24.) Relying on the
testimony of the VE, the ALJ concluded that there were jobs
that existed in significant numbers in the national economy
that Plaintiff could have performed, such as cashier, small
products assembler, and electrical accessories assembler. (AR
29-30.) Accordingly, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff was
not disabled at any time from January 31, 2013 (the alleged
onset date) through December 31, 2015 (the date last
insured). (AR 29.) The Appeals Council denied review, thereby
rendering the ALJ's decision the final decision of the
Whether the ALJ properly evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
Whether the ALJ adequately considered Plaintiff's
Whether the ALJ properly considered the opinion of Dr.
Whether the ALJ properly credited the VE's testimony.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the Court reviews the
Commissioner's decision to determine whether the
Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial
evidence and whether the proper legal standards were applied.
See Treichler v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec. Admin., 775
F.3d 1090, 1098 (9th Cir. 2014). Substantial evidence means
“more than a mere scintilla” but less than a
preponderance. See Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S.
389, 401 (1971); Lingenfelter v. Astrue, 504 F.3d
1028, 1035 (9th Cir. 2007). Substantial evidence is
“such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion.”
Richardson, 402 U.S. at 401. Where evidence is
susceptible of more than one rational interpretation, the
Commissioner's decision must be upheld. See Orn v.
Astrue, 495 F.3d 625, 630 (9th Cir. 2007); Batson v.
Comm'r of Soc. Sec. Admin., 359 F.3d 1190, 1196 (9th
Cir. 2004) (“When evidence reasonably supports either
confirming or reversing the ALJ's decision, [the court]
may not substitute [its] judgment for that of the
contends that the ALJ improperly discounted his subjective
complaints regarding pain and other symptoms.