United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER AFFIRMING DECISION OF
THE COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY
E. MCDERMOTT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
September 14, 2018, Teresa Ramirez (“Plaintiff”
or “Claimant”) filed a complaint seeking review
of the decision by the Commissioner of Social Security
(“Commissioner”) denying Plaintiff's
application for Supplemental Security Income benefits. (Dkt.
1.) The Commissioner filed an Answer on December 26, 2018.
(Dkt. 14.) On March 28, 2019, the parties filed a Joint
Stipulation (“JS”). (Dkt. 19.) The matter is now
ready for decision.
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), both parties consented to proceed
bef ore this Magistrate Judge. After reviewing the pleadings,
transcripts, and administrative record (“AR”),
the Court concludes that the Commissioner's decision must
be affirmed and this action dismissed with prejudice.
is a 34 year-old female who applied for Supplemental Security
Income benefits on October 1, 2014, alleging disability
beginning January 1, 2008. (AR 15.) The ALJ determined that
Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity
since October 1, 2014, the application date. (AR 17.)
Plaintiff's claim was denied initially on June 17, 2015,
and on reconsideration on October 22, 2015. (AR 15.)
Plaintiff filed a timely request for hearing, which was held
before Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Josephine
Arno on August 18, 2017, in Moreno Valley, California. (AR
15.) Plaintiff appeared and testified at the hearing and was
represented by counsel. (AR 15.) Vocational expert
(“VE”) Sonia L. Peterson also appeared and
testified at the hearing. (AR 15.)
issued an unfavorable decision on October 24, 2017. (AR
15-24.) The Appeals Council denied review on July 27, 2018.
reflected in the Joint Stipulation, Plaintiff raises the
following disputed issues as grounds for reversal and remand:
1. Whether the ALJ properly addressed the treating
2. Whether the ALJ properly developed the record.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court reviews the ALJ's
decision to determine whether the ALJ's findings are
supported by substantial evidence and free of legal error.
Smolen v. Chater, 80 F.3d 1273, 1279 (9th Cir.
1996); see also DeLorme v. Sullivan, 924 F.2d 841,
846 (9th Cir. 1991) (ALJ's disability determination must
be supported by substantial evidence and based on the proper
evidence means “‘more than a mere scintilla,'
but less than a preponderance.” Saelee v.
Chater, 94 F.3d 520, 521-22 (9th Cir. 1996) (quoting
Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971)).
Substantial evidence is “such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Richardson, 402 U.S. at 401
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
Court must review the record as a whole and consider adverse
as well as supporting evidence. Robbins v. Soc. Sec.
Admin.,466 F.3d 880, 882 (9th Cir. 2006). Where
evidence is susceptible to more than one rational
interpretation, the ALJ's decision must be upheld.
Morgan v. Comm'r of the Soc. Sec. Admin., 169
F.3d 595, 599 (9th Cir. 1999). “However, a reviewing
court must consider the entire record as a whole and may not
affirm simply by isolating a ‘specific quantum of
supporting evidence.'” Robbins ...