United States District Court, Western District of Washington, Tacoma
ROBERT W. PETERSON, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT
J. Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge
This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Fed.R.Civ.P. 73 and Local Magistrate Judge Rule MJR 13 (see also Notice of Initial Assignment to a U.S. Magistrate Judge and Consent Form, Dkt. 5; Consent to Proceed Before a United States Magistrate Judge, Dkt. 6). This matter has been fully briefed (see Dkt. 15, 16, 17).
After considering and reviewing the record, the Court concludes that the ALJ did not err in finding plaintiff not to be fully credible because the ALJ gave specific, clear, and convincing reasons for rejecting the testimony, supported by substantial evidence. Therefore, this matter is affirmed pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Plaintiff, ROBERT W. PETERSON, was born in 1965 and was 44 years old on the alleged date of disability onset of November 24, 2009 (see AR. 228-29, 236-41). Plaintiff has at least a high school education (AR. 38). Plaintiff has work experience as a truck driver, warehouse worker, stockperson and recycle driver (AR. 321). He stopped work when the pain in his back worsened (AR. 51).
According to the ALJ, plaintiff has at least the severe impairments of “degenerative disc disease; anxiety disorder not otherwise specified (NOS); cannabis dependence (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c))” (AR. 31).
At the time of the hearing, plaintiff was living in his parents’ home (AR. 72-73).
Plaintiff’s applications for disability insurance (“DIB”) benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 423 (Title II) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1382(a) (Title XVI) of the Social Security Act were denied initially and following reconsideration (see AR. 147-50, 158-59, 166-77). Plaintiff’s requested hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge Laura Valente (“the ALJ”) on March 7, 2013 (see AR. 45-89). On April 1, 2013, the ALJ issued a written decision in which the ALJ concluded that plaintiff was not disabled pursuant to the Social Security Act (see AR. 26-40).
In plaintiff’s Opening Brief, plaintiff raises the following issue: Whether or not the ALJ gave legally sufficient reasons for finding plaintiff not fully credible (see Opening Brief, Dkt. 15, p. 1).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court may set aside the Commissioner’s denial of social security benefits if the ALJ’s findings are based on legal error or not supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. Bayliss v. Barnhart, 427 F.3d 1211, 1214 n.1 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing Tidwell v. Apfel, 161 F.3d 599, 601 (9th Cir.1999)).
Did the ALJ give legally sufficient reasons for finding plaintiff not ...