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Terron M. v. Saul

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 11, 2019

TERRON M., Plaintiff,
v.
ANDREW M. SAUL, Commissioner of Social Security, [1] Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          KAREN E. SCOTT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Terron M. (“Plaintiff”) stopped working in December 2005. Administrative Record (“AR”) 188. He applied for Social Security disability benefits in January 2015, alleging disability commencing December 1, 2014. AR 55. He identified paranoia (which he has had since 1993) and a right “boxer fracture” (i.e., a broken wrist/hand bone) as his disabling impairments. AR 55, 58. In March 2015, he identified right arm and hand pain along with mental issues as his disabling conditions. AR 194-201. On March 8, 2017, an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) conducted a hearing at which Plaintiff, who was represented by an attorney, appeared and testified, as did a vocational expert (“VE”). AR 31-44. A supplemental hearing was held on August 16, 2017. AR 45-54. On December 15, 2017, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision. AR 12-30. The ALJ found that Plaintiff suffered from medically determinable severe impairments consisting of “history of pancreatitis”; “history of ‘benign' pancreatic mass”; degenerative joint disease of the right wrist; and a history of substance abuse. AR 17. Despite these impairments, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had a residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform a narrowed range of medium work. AR 20.

         Based on the RFC analysis and the VE's testimony, the ALJ found that Plaintiff could work perform his past relevant work as a home attendant. AR 24. The ALJ concluded that Plaintiff was not disabled. AR 25.

         II.

         ISSUES PRESENTED

         Issue One: Whether the ALJ properly considered the applicability of Listing 5.08.

         Issue Two: Whether the ALJ properly considered the opinions of treating physician Naeemah Ghafur in the February 2016 “Medical Opinion Re: Ability to do Work-Related Activities (Physical)” form (the “Medical Opinion Form” at ¶ 729-31).

         (Dkt. 23, Joint Stipulation [“JS”] at 3.)

         III.

         DISCUSSION

         A. ISSUE ONE: Listing 5.08.

         1. Steps Two and Three of the Sequential ...


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