United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. STANDISH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
filed a complaint seeking review of Defendant Commissioner of
Social Security's (“Commissioner”) denial of
her applications for Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”) and Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”). The parties filed consents to proceed
before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge [Dkts.
11, 12] and briefs addressing disputed issue in the case
[Dkt. 19 (“Pltf.'s Br.”), Dkt. 22
(“Def.'s Br.”)]. The Court has taken the
parties' briefing under submission without oral argument.
For the reasons discussed below, the Court finds that this
matter should be affirmed.
ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION UNDER REVIEW
3, 2012 Plaintiff filed an application for Social Security
Disability Insurance Benefits and, on July 29, 2014, she
filed an application for Supplemental Security Income
benefits. [Dkt. 15, Administrative Record (“AR”)
221-229.] In both applications, Plaintiff stated that she
became disabled and unable to work on May 22, 2014, due to a
combination of physical and mental impairments.
being denied initially and upon reconsideration, Plaintiff
timely filed a request for hearing (AR 104-115, 116-127),
after which a hearing took place before Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) Mason D. Harrell, Jr. on March 1,
2017. [AR 73-103.]
issued an unfavorable decision on June 16, 2017 (AR 19-30),
in which the ALJ found Plaintiff to have severe impairments
consisting of osteoarthritis and mood disorder. [AR 22.]
While the ALJ found that none of Plaintiff's impairments
met or equaled any of the listed impairments (AR 22), he
nevertheless found Plaintiff to have a limited light residual
functional capacity, specifically finding she is capable of:
Lifting and/or carrying 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds
frequently. She can stand and/or walk for two hours of an
eight-hour workday, fifteen minutes at a time. She requires
use of a cane to walk but not to stand. She has no
limitations as to sitting except she must be able to stand
and stretch for one minute, each hour. She cannot use foot
pedals on the left. She is capable of non-complex, routine,
and repetitive tasks and occasional interactions with public,
coworkers and supervisors.
this RFC, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had no past relevant
work, but she could perform other work as an assembly person
(Dictionary of Occupational Titles (“DOT”)
729.687-010), inspector (DOT 529.587-014), and office helper
(DOT 239.567-010). Thus, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff is
not disabled under the Social Security Act. [AR 30.]
sought review of the ALJ's decision, which the Appeals
Council denied, making the ALJ's decision the
Commissioner's final decision. [AR 1-5.] This appeal
42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the Court reviews the
Commissioner's decision to determine if: (1) the
Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial
evidence; and (2) the Commissioner used correct legal
standards. See Carmickle v. Comm'r Soc. Sec.
Admin., 533 F.3d 1155, 1159 (9th Cir. 2008); Hoopai
v. Astrue, 499 F.3d 1071, 1074 (9th Cir. 2007).
Substantial evidence is “such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S.
389, 401 (1971) (internal citation and quotations omitted);
see also Hoopai, 499 F.3d at 1074. The Court will
uphold the Commissioner's decision when the evidence is
susceptible to more than one rational interpretation.
Burch v. Barnhart, 400 F.3d 676, 679 (9th Cir.
2005). However, the Court may review only the reasons stated
by the ALJ in his decision “and may not affirm the ALJ
on a ground upon which he did not rely.” Orn v.
Astrue, 495 F.3d 625, 630 (9th Cir. 2007).