Lundberg v. Colvin
ORDER affirming the decision of the Commissioner, accepting (Doc. 23 ), and dismissing this case; IT IS FURTHER ORDERED striking (Doc. 27 ) as contrary to (Doc. 23 ); FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court enter Judgment in favor of Defendant and close this case. Signed by Chief Judge Raner C Collins on 2/20/2015. (See Order for details)(ALS)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Carolyn W. Colvin,
Before the Court is (Doc. 24) Plaintiff’s Response (Objections) to the Magistrate
Judge’s Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) (Doc. 23). Pursuant to LR Civ. 72.2(a)
and F.R.Civ. P. Rule 72, and after conducting a de novo review, the Court accepts the
Magistrate Judge’s R&R in its entirety.
For the purposes of laying out the factual and procedural history in this case, the
Court hereby incorporates the full R&R.
The heart of the issue before the ALJ, the Magistrate, and this Court is whether
Plaintiff was provided misinformation by the Tucson SSA office such that she may
recover pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 404.633.
Plaintiff avers that during her September 2005 appointment for Medicare and
retirement benefits, she did not ask the specific question of whether she could draw on
her ex-husbands account while allowing her account to grow. (Doc. 26 at p.2).
Nevertheless, she argues that she provided the representative with sufficient information
(that she knew she could draw on her ex-husband’s account as well as her own and that
she wanted the largest benefit possible) such that the representative should have informed
her that she could draw on her ex-spouse’s account when she reached full retirement age
in April 2006 and continue to let her account grow until she reached the age of 70. Id.
Upon review of this record, this Court agrees with the ALJ and the Magistrate
Judge that there is no evidence that the representative Plaintiff was provided with
misinformation in response to any specific request in September 2005. By her own
admission, Plaintiff did not directly ask the representative if she could draw on her ex-
husband’s account while letting hers grow—Plaintiff only claims she asked which benefit
would be larger. Id. The representative correctly answered that they would be about the
same amount and that she could draw on either account. Id. at p. 2, p. 5.
The Court sympathizes with Plaintiff and further agrees with the Magistrate Judge
that “Looking at the record as a whole, considering both evidence that supports and
undermines the ALJ’s findings, it is clear that the evidence may be susceptible of more
than one rational interpretation, but in that case, the decision of the Commissioner,
acting through the ALJ, must be upheld.” (Doc. 23 at p. 7-8) (Emphasis added). Citing
Reddick v. Chater, 157 F.3d 715, 720-21 (9th Cir. 1998); Orteza v. Shalala, 50 F.3d 748,
749 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED affirming the decision of the Commissioner,
accepting (Doc. 23), and dismissing this case;
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED striking (Doc. 27) as contrary to (Doc. 23);
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court enter Judgment in favor
of Defendant and close this case.
Dated this 20th day of February, 2015.
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