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”) denying an
application for Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Social Security
Act (“Act”). 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 1958, applied on September 16, 2015 for Title II
disability insurance benefits, alleging disability beginning
January 8, 2015. Administrative Transcript (“AT”)
21, 30. Plaintiff alleged she was unable to work due to
memory problems and the inability to find words when
speaking. AT 116. In a decision dated the ALJ determined that
plaintiff was not disabled.AT 21-31. The ALJ made the
following findings (citations to 20 C.F.R. omitted):
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2019.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since January 8, 2015, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
borderline intellectual functioning, anxiety disorder,
depressive disorder, personality disorder, and obesity.
4. The claimant does not have 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.
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform a full range of work at all
exertional levels but with the following nonexertional
limitations: The claimant is precluded from climbing ladders,
ropes, and scaffolds, and from working around hazards,
including dangerous moving machinery and unprotected heights.
She must avoid concentrated exposure to pulmonary irritants,
including fumes, dust, gases, odors, and poorly ventilated
areas. She is limited to performing simple, routine, and
repetitive tasks. She is limited to no more than occasional
interaction with supervisors, coworkers, and the public. She
is precluded from work at a production pace, such as
sustained fast-paced activity or work with requirements for
meeting explicit quotas, deadlines, or schedules, but work at
a normal production pace is not ruled out.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was born on XX/XX/1958, which is defined as
an individual of advanced age, on the alleged disability
8. The claimant has at least a high-school education and is
able to communicate in English.
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.
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.
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from January 8, 2015 through the
date of this decision.
argues that the ALJ committed the following errors in finding
plaintiff not disabled: (1) the ALJ improperly weighed the
medical opinion evidence; and (2) the ALJ erred in
discounting plaintiff's subjective statements.
court reviews the Commissioner's decision to determine
whether (1) it is based on proper legal standards pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 405(g), and (2) substantial evidence in the
record as a whole supports it. Tackett v. Apfel, 180
F.3d 1094, 1097 (9th Cir. 1999). Substantial evidence is more
than a mere scintilla, but less than a preponderance.
Connett v. Barnhart, 340 F.3d 871, 873 (9th Cir.
2003) (citation omitted). It means “such relevant
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion.” Orn v. Astrue, 495 F.3d
625, 630 (9th Cir. 2007), quoting Burch v. Barnhart,
400 F.3d 676, 679 (9th Cir. 2005). “The ALJ is
responsible for determining credibility, resolving conflicts
in medical testimony, and resolving ambiguities.”
Edlund v. Massanari, 253 F.3d 1152, 1156 (9th Cir.
2001) (citations omitted). “The court will uphold the
ALJ's conclusion when the evidence is susceptible to more
than one rational interpretation.” Tommasetti v.
Astrue, 533 F.3d 1035, 1038 (9th Cir. 2008).
record as a whole must be considered, Howard v.
Heckler, 782 F.2d 1484, 1487 (9th Cir. 1986), and both
the evidence that supports and the evidence that detracts
from the ALJ's conclusion weighed. See Jones v.
Heckler, 760 F.2d 993, 995 (9th Cir. 1985). The court
may not affirm the ALJ's decision simply by isolating a
specific quantum of supporting evidence. Id.;
see also Hammock v. Bowen, 879 F.2d 498, 501 (9th
Cir. 1989). If substantial evidence supports the
administrative findings, or if there is conflicting evidence
supporting a finding of either disability or nondisability,
the finding of the ALJ is conclusive, see Sprague v.
Bowen, 812 F.2d 1226, ...