United States District Court, E.D. California
CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner
of Social Security (“Commissioner”) finding that
plaintiff's disability under sections 216(i) and 223(f)
of the Social Security Act (“Act”) ended on
October 15, 2014, and that plaintiff has not become disabled
again since that date. The parties have consented to
Magistrate Judge jurisdiction to conduct all proceedings in
the case, including the entry of final judgment. For the
reasons discussed below, the court will deny plaintiff's
motion for summary judgment and grant the Commissioner's
cross-motion for summary judgment.
born in 1962, was found disabled beginning on January 1,
2005. Administrative Transcript (“AT”) 16, 27.
The September 21, 2005 decision finding plaintiff disabled
stated that she had bipolar disorder and curvature of the
spine. AT 18. After a continuing disability review
(“CDR”), the Commissioner found plaintiff no
longer disabled as of October 15, 2014 due to medical
improvement. See AT 16. Plaintiff asserted that she
was still unable to work because of bipolar disorder, chronic
low back pain, moderate bilateral scoliosis, alcoholism, and
bilateral hearing loss. See AT 21.
decision challenged herein, following an April 25, 2017
hearing and dated July 14, 2017, the ALJ determined that
plaintiff's disability ended on October 15,
2014. AT 16-28. The ALJ made the following
findings (citations to 20 C.F.R. omitted):
1. The most recent favorable medical decision finding that
the claimant was disabled is the determination dated
September 21, 2005. This is known as the ‘comparison
point decision' or CPD.
2. At the time of the CPD, the claimant had the following
medically determinable impairments: bipolar disorder and
curvature of the spine. These impairments were found to
result in the residual functional capacity that markedly
limited her ability to maintain attention and concentration,
maintain regular attendance, and complete a normal workday
and workweek without psychiatric symptom interruption and
perform at a consistent pace without an unreasonable number
and length of rest periods.
3. Through the date of this decision, the claimant has not
engaged in substantial gainful activity.
4. The medical evidence establishes that, since October 15,
2014, the claimant has had the following medically
determinable impairments: tri-malleolar ankle fracture,
status post open reduction and internal fixation; scoliosis;
lumbar degenerative disc disease; partial hearing loss; and
bipolar disorder. These are the claimant's current
5. Since October 15, 2014, the claimant has not had an
impairment or combination of impairments that meets or
medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part
404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
6. Medical improvement occurred on October 15, 2014.
7. The claimant's medical improvement is related to the
ability to work because it resulted in an increase in the
claimant's residual functional capacity.
8. Since October 15, 2014, the claimant has continued to have
a severe impairment or combination of impairments.
9. Based on the impairments present since October 15, 2014,
the claimant has had the residual functional capacity to
perform light work except: no work in a loud environment and
limited to simple repetitive tasks.
10. Since October 15, 2014, the claimant has been unable to
perform past relevant work.
11. On October 15, 2014, the claimant was an individual
closely approaching advanced age.
12. The claimant has at least a high-school education and is
able to communicate in English.
13. Since October 15, 2014, 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.
14. Since October 15, 2014, considering the claimant's
age, education, work experience, and residual functional
capacity based on the impairments present since October 15,
2014 the claimant has been able to perform a ...