Frank Valenzuela v. Michael J Astrue

Filing 16

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER by Magistrate Judge Paul L. Abrams. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 1. plaintiff's request for reversal, or in the alternative, remand, is denied; and 2. the decision of the Commissioner is affirmed. IT IS FURTHER ORDERE D that the Clerk of the Court serve copies of this Order and the Judgment herein on all parties or their counsel. This Memorandum Opinion and Order is not intended for publication, nor is it intended to be included in or submitted to any online service such as Westlaw or Lexis. **See attached Order for details.** (es)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 WESTERN DIVISION 11 12 FRANK VALENZUELA, 13 Plaintiff, 14 15 16 v. CAROLYN W. COLVIN, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, 17 Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. CV 12-8629-PLA MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 18 19 I. 20 PROCEEDINGS 21 Plaintiff filed this action on October 12, 2012, seeking review of the Commissioner’s denial 22 of his application for Supplemental Security Income payments. The parties filed Consents to 23 proceed before the undersigned Magistrate Judge on November 20, 2012, and December 4, 2012. 24 Pursuant to the Court’s Order, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation on July 8, 2013, that addresses 25 their positions concerning the disputed issue in the case. The Court has taken the Joint 26 Stipulation under submission without oral argument. 27 / 28 / 1 II. 2 BACKGROUND 3 Plaintiff was born on September 21, 1959. [Administrative Record (“AR”) at 55.] He has 4 an eleventh-grade education [AR at 191], and has no past relevant work experience. [AR at 24.] 5 On May 4, 2009, plaintiff applied for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) payments, 6 alleging that he has been disabled since January 1, 1994,1 due to a traumatic brain injury, a 7 cervical spine fracture, nerve damage, pain in his head, legs, and knees, neck problems, high 8 blood pressure, and forgetfulness. [AR at 55, 59, 170-76, 186-92, 214-19.] After his application 9 was denied initially and upon reconsideration, plaintiff requested a hearing before an 10 Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). [AR 67-84.] A hearing was held on April 5, 2011,2 at which 11 plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified on his own behalf. [AR at 37-54.] On April 22, 2011, 12 the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled. [AR at 16-25.] This action followed. 13 14 III. 15 STANDARD OF REVIEW 16 Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court has authority to review the Commissioner’s 17 decision to deny benefits. The decision will be disturbed only if it is not supported by substantial 18 evidence or if it is based upon the application of improper legal standards. Moncada v. Chater, 19 60 F.3d 521, 523 (9th Cir. 1995); Drouin v. Sullivan, 966 F.2d 1255, 1257 (9th Cir. 1992). 20 / 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 In his decision, the Administrative Law Judge noted that plaintiff previously received SSI payments from June 1998 to September 1999, and from November 2002 to May 2003. He further noted that plaintiff filed prior applications for SSI payments on March 14, 2006, and February 13, 2007, which were denied at the initial levels on July 7, 2006, and April 20, 2007, respectively. The ALJ stated that “[t]here is no basis to reopen the determinations on the prior applications.” [AR at 16.] Plaintiff does not contend otherwise. [See Joint Stipulation at 2-14.] 2 The first page of the hearing transcript reflects a hearing date of August 5, 2011 [AR at 37], but both the concluding notation in the transcript and the ALJ’s decision reflect that plaintiff’s hearing took place on April 5, 2011. [AR at 16, 53.] Further, the ALJ’s decision was issued on April 22, 2011, which would have been before a hearing held on August 5, 2011. [AR at 25.] 2 1 In this context, the term “substantial evidence” means “more than a mere scintilla but less 2 than a preponderance -- it is such relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as 3 adequate to support the conclusion.” Moncada, 60 F.3d at 523; see also Drouin, 966 F.2d at 4 1257. When determining whether substantial evidence exists to support the Commissioner’s 5 decision, the Court examines the administrative record as a whole, considering adverse as well 6 as supporting evidence. Drouin, 966 F.2d at 1257; Hammock v. Bowen, 879 F.2d 498, 501 (9th 7 Cir. 1989). Where the evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, the Court 8 must defer to the decision of the Commissioner. Moncada, 60 F.3d at 523; Andrews v. Shalala, 9 53 F.3d 1035, 1039-40 (9th Cir. 1995); Drouin, 966 F.2d at 1258. 10 11 IV. 12 THE EVALUATION OF DISABILITY 13 Persons are “disabled” for purposes of receiving Social Security benefits if they are unable 14 to engage in any substantial gainful activity owing to a physical or mental impairment that is 15 expected to result in death or which has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at 16 least twelve months. 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A); Drouin, 966 F.2d at 1257. 17 18 A. THE FIVE-STEP EVALUATION PROCESS 19 The Commissioner (or ALJ) follows a five-step sequential evaluation process in assessing 20 whether a claimant is disabled. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920; Lester v. Chater, 81 F.3d 821, 21 828 n.5 (9th Cir. 1995, as amended April 9, 1996). In the first step, the Commissioner must 22 determine whether the claimant is currently engaged in substantial gainful activity; if so, the 23 claimant is not disabled and the claim is denied. Id. If the claimant is not currently engaged in 24 substantial gainful activity, the second step requires the Commissioner to determine whether the 25 claimant has a “severe” impairment or combination of impairments significantly limiting his ability 26 to do basic work activities; if not, a finding of nondisability is made and the claim is denied. Id. 27 If the claimant has a “severe” impairment or combination of impairments, the third step requires 28 the Commissioner to determine whether the impairment or combination of impairments meets or 3 1 equals an impairment in the Listing of Impairments (“Listing”) set forth at 20 C.F.R., Part 404, 2 Subpart P, Appendix 1; if so, disability is conclusively presumed and benefits are awarded. Id. 3 If the claimant’s impairment or combination of impairments does not meet or equal an impairment 4 in the Listing, the fourth step requires the Commissioner to determine whether the claimant has 5 sufficient “residual functional capacity” to perform his past work; if so, the claimant is not disabled 6 and the claim is denied. Id. The claimant has the burden of proving that he is unable to perform 7 past relevant work. Drouin, 966 F.2d at 1257. If the claimant meets this burden, a prima facie 8 case of disability is established. The Commissioner then bears the burden of establishing that 9 the claimant is not disabled, because he can perform other substantial gainful work available in 10 the national economy. The determination of this issue comprises the fifth and final step in the 11 sequential analysis. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920; Lester, 81 F.3d at 828 n.5; Drouin, 966 12 F.2d at 1257. 13 14 B. THE ALJ’S APPLICATION OF THE FIVE-STEP PROCESS 15 In this case, at step one, the ALJ found that plaintiff had not engaged in any substantial 16 gainful activity since May 4, 2009, the date of the application. [AR at 18.] At step two, the ALJ 17 concluded that plaintiff has the severe impairments of degenerative disc disease of the cervical 18 and lumbar spine, depression, and anxiety. [Id.] At step three, the ALJ determined that plaintiff’s 19 impairments do not meet or equal any of the impairments in the Listing. [Id.] The ALJ further 20 found that plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity (“RFC”)3 to perform “medium work” as 21 defined in 20 C.F.R. § 416.967(c).4 Specifically, the ALJ found that plaintiff can “lift and carry 50 22 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds frequently, stand/walk 6 hours in an 8-hour workday, sit 6 23 hours in an 8-hour workday, no ladder/rope/scaffold climbing, and avoidance of concentrated 24 exposure to unprotected heights and dangerous machinery.” He further found that plaintiff “has 25 26 3 RFC is what a claimant can still do despite existing exertional and nonexertional limitations. See Cooper v. Sullivan, 880 F.2d 1152, 1155 n.5 (9th Cir. 1989). 27 4 28 20 C.F.R. § 416.967(c) defines “medium work” as work that involves “lifting no more than 50 pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 25 pounds.” 4 1 the mental residual functional capacity to perform jobs at the unskilled SVP5 1 and SVP 2 levels.” 2 [AR at 20 (footnote added).] At step four, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff has no past relevant 3 work. [AR at 24.] At step five, the ALJ found, based on the application of the Medical-Vocational 4 Guidelines, that “there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that 5 [plaintiff] can perform.” [Id.] Accordingly, the ALJ determined that plaintiff has not been under a 6 disability since May 4, 2009. [Id.] 7 8 V. 9 THE ALJ’S DECISION 10 Plaintiff contends that the ALJ failed to properly consider plaintiff’s subjective symptom 11 testimony. [Joint Stipulation (“JS”) at 5-14.] As set forth below, the Court respectfully disagrees 12 with plaintiff and affirms the ALJ’s decision. 13 14 PLAINTIFF’S SUBJECTIVE SYMPTOM TESTIMONY 15 “To determine whether a claimant’s testimony regarding subjective pain or symptoms is 16 credible, an ALJ must engage in a two-step analysis.” Lingenfelter v. Astrue, 504 F.3d 1028, 17 1035-36 (9th Cir. 2007). “First, the ALJ must determine whether the claimant has presented 18 objective medical evidence of an underlying impairment ‘which could reasonably be expected to 19 produce the pain or other symptoms alleged.’” Id. (quoting Bunnell v. Sullivan, 947 F.2d 341, 344 20 (9th Cir. 1991) (en banc)). Second, if the claimant meets the first test, the ALJ may only reject the 21 claimant’s testimony about the severity of his symptoms upon (1) finding evidence affirmatively 22 suggesting that the claimant was malingering, or (2) offering specific, clear and convincing reasons 23 for doing so. See Dodrill v. Shalala, 12 F.3d 915, 918 (9th Cir. 1999); see also Lingenfelter, 504 24 F.3d at 1036; Benton v. Barnhart, 331 F.3d 1030, 1040 (9th Cir. 2003). The factors to be 25 26 27 28 5 Specific Vocational Preparation (“SVP”) is the amount of lapsed time required by a typical worker to learn the techniques, acquire the information, and develop the facility needed for average performance in a specific job-worker situation. Dictionary of Occupational Titles (4th ed., rev. 1991), App. C. 5 1 considered in weighing a claimant’s credibility include: (1) the claimant’s reputation for 2 truthfulness; (2) inconsistencies either in the claimant’s testimony or between the claimant’s 3 testimony and his conduct; (3) the claimant’s daily activities; (4) the claimant’s work record; and 4 (5) testimony from physicians and third parties concerning the nature, severity, and effect of the 5 symptoms of which the claimant complains. See Thomas v. Barnhart, 278 F.3d 947, 958-59 (9th 6 Cir. 2002); see also 20 C.F.R. § 416.929(c). 7 determination is entitled to “great deference.” See Green v. Heckler, 803 F.2d 528, 532 (9th Cir. 8 1986). If properly supported, the ALJ’s credibility 9 At the administrative hearing, plaintiff testified that he lives with his son and his friend. [AR 10 at 40.] He further testified that on a typical day, he cares for his personal needs, cleans his room 11 and the house, waters the plants for “an hour straight,” watches television, picks up the mail, and 12 walks to pick up his son from school. [AR at 46-48.] Plaintiff stated that he goes grocery shopping 13 with a friend, and that he watches his son’s baseball games -- which last approximately four hours 14 -- “whenever [his son] wants [him] to go.” [AR at 48-49, 51.] Plaintiff testified that as a result of 15 his emotional and mental problems, he “start[s] cutting [him]self” or clips his fingernails “until they 16 bleed.” [AR at 49.] He also testified that he has problems with his memory and concentration, and 17 that the reason he does not shop alone is because “[he] just [doesn’t] know what to get,” or forgets 18 what he needs by the time he gets to the store. [AR at 49-50.] When plaintiff was asked whether 19 he has difficulty concentrating at his son’s baseball games, plaintiff stated, “No, not on baseball.” 20 [AR at 51.] Plaintiff reported that he receives mental health treatment twice a month at Palmdale 21 Mental Health Center, and that he takes Zoloft and Abilify for his depression and mood swings. 22 [AR at 45, 52.] He also reported that he goes to “the general hospital” for physical rehabilitation 23 of his legs and lower back due to a car accident in 1994. [AR at 45-46.] Plaintiff states that he 24 takes two additional medications, one of which is a nerve damage medication. [AR at 46.] When 25 plaintiff was asked why he cannot work, he stated that after his car accident in 1994, he was in 26 a coma and “when [he] woke up [he] was already on [S]ocial [S]ecurity.” He testified that “ever 27 since then [he] didn’t work no more [sic],” and after that time, he went to prison. He concluded: 28 6 1 “so I never worked.” [AR at 50.] Plaintiff testified that while he last used an illicit street drug in 2 March of 2010, he has not used any illegal drugs since then. [AR at 41.] 3 At step one of the two-step credibility analysis, the ALJ found that plaintiff’s “medically 4 determinable impairments could reasonably be expected to cause the alleged symptoms.” [AR 5 at 23.] The ALJ nevertheless concluded that plaintiff’s “statements concerning the intensity, 6 persistence and limiting effects of these symptoms are not credible to the extent they are 7 inconsistent with the [ALJ’s RFC findings for plaintiff].” [Id.] At step two, as the record contains 8 no evidence of malingering by plaintiff,6 the ALJ was required to offer “specific, clear and 9 convincing reasons” for rejecting plaintiff’s subjective symptom testimony. See Lingenfelter, 504 10 F.3d at 1036. “General findings are insufficient; rather, the ALJ must identify what testimony is 11 not credible and what evidence undermines the claimant’s complaints.” Reddick v. Chater, 157 12 F.3d 715, 722 (9th Cir. 1998) (quoting Lester, 81 F.3d at 834); see also Dodrill, 12 F.3d at 918. 13 The ALJ rejected plaintiff’s subjective symptom testimony because he found that plaintiff’s 14 subjective complaints and alleged limitations: (1) “are out of proportion to the objective findings” 15 in the record that the ALJ discussed; (2) “are not consistent with the treatment [plaintiff] receives”; 16 and (3) “are not consistent with his activities of daily living.” [AR at 23.] These are legally 17 adequate reasons to discredit plaintiff’s subjective symptom testimony. 18 First, the ALJ’s finding that plaintiff’s allegations concerning his subjective symptoms are 19 “out of proportion to the objective findings” is supported by substantial evidence. While a lack of 20 objective medical evidence supporting a plaintiff’s subjective complaints cannot provide the only 21 basis to reject a claimant’s credibility (see Light v. Social Security Administration, 119 F.3d 789, 22 792 (9th Cir. 1997)), it is one factor that an ALJ can consider in evaluating symptom testimony. 23 See Rollins v. Massanari, 261 F.3d 853, 857 (9th Cir. 2001) (finding that while medical evidence 24 alone cannot discredit testimony as to pain, it is one factor which the ALJ is permitted to consider). 25 With respect to plaintiff’s physical impairments, the ALJ noted that Dr. Sarah L. Maze 26 performed a neurological evaluation of plaintiff on August 21, 2009. [AR at 20-21, 356-59.] The 27 6 28 The ALJ made no finding that plaintiff was malingering, nor does the evidence suggest plaintiff was doing so. 7 1 ALJ pointed out that upon physical examination, Dr. Maze found decreased range of motion in 2 plaintiff’s cervical spine, but also found normal motor strength in his bilateral upper and lower 3 extremities, intact sensation throughout his upper and lower extremities, normal reflexes 4 throughout, normal coordination, an ability to ambulate independently without use of an assistive 5 device, and an ability to stand on heels and toes. [AR at 21, 358.] Next, the ALJ acknowledged 6 that a February 23, 2010, MRI of plaintiff’s cervical spine revealed “diffuse multilevel degenerative 7 disc disease with mild spinal canal and neural foraminal stenosis at the C6-7 level.” [AR at 22; 8 see AR at 386-87.] The ALJ also pointed out, however, that the MRI did not reveal “evidence of 9 any significant stenosis or nerve root impingement.” [AR at 22 (emphasis added).] Third, the ALJ 10 stated that the lack of any gait disturbance or abnormalities in plaintiff’s lower extremities during 11 Dr. Maze’s evaluation supported two of the ALJ’s determinations: (1) that plaintiff had “made a 12 good recovery” from his “right femoral bone fracture” during the 1994 car accident, and (2) that 13 while a December 16, 2010, MRI of plaintiff’s lumbar spine revealed moderate degenerative disc 14 disease at L5-S1 [AR at 421], and a September 12, 2010, neurosurgical consultation note stated 15 that plaintiff’s motor strength in his lower extremities measured four out of five, and he was “unable 16 to walk with plantarflexion” [AR at 437-38], “there is no evidence that these abnormalities were due 17 to lumbar radiculopathy or that they persisted, or are expected to persist, for a 12-month period.” 18 [AR at 22.] Finally, the ALJ stated that there is no evidence that plaintiff’s symptoms from urgent 19 care treatment records for right middle finger pain on June 21, 2010 [AR at 426-28], and left 20 thumb numbness on August 18, 2010 [AR at 430-33], “have persisted, or are expected to persist, 21 for a 12-month period.” [AR at 22.] The ALJ accurately discussed the above objective findings, 22 those supporting plaintiff’s position and those contrary to his position, which make up the entirety 23 of the medical evidence in the record concerning plaintiff’s physical impairments. 24 accurately found that “[t]here is no evidence of disuse muscle atrophy that would be compatible 25 with [plaintiff’s] alleged level of inactivity.” [AR at 23.] Thus, substantial evidence supports the 26 ALJ’s determination that plaintiff’s assertion of disability due to the pain in his head, neck, knees, 27 and legs, and the effects of his 1994 car accident, is “out of proportion” with the objective medical 28 findings. 8 He also 1 With respect to plaintiff’s mental impairments, the ALJ noted that Dr. Maze’s August 21, 2 2009, neurological and mental status examinations found that plaintiff had a good general fund 3 of knowledge, unimpaired attention and concentration, normal intellectual functioning, and normal 4 cranial nerves. [AR at 21, 23, 357.] The ALJ also pointed out that during an August 16, 2010, 5 initial intake assessment at Palmdale Mental Health Center (“PMHC”), plaintiff reported being 6 depressed and anxious, was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, and was assigned a 7 Global Assessment of Functioning score of 507 [AR at 395-99], but that he was subsequently 8 assigned a GAF score of 658 in a September 29, 2010, PMHC treating note [AR at 416-18]. [See 9 AR at 23.] Finally, the ALJ noted that a November 30, 2010, PMHC progress note showed a 10 “normal mental status examination” [AR at 411], and that a December 2, 2010, PMHC progress 11 note reflected a report by plaintiff of less depression and better sleep after using Lexapro [AR at 12 402]. [See AR at 23.] The November 30, 2010, mental status examination findings reflect that 13 plaintiff was well-groomed, calm, cooperative, and linear. [AR at 411.] The ALJ fairly summarized 14 the mental health records from the period following plaintiff’s most recent release from prison on 15 April 6, 2009 [AR at 357], and thus substantial evidence supports the ALJ’s conclusion that the 16 objective findings in the record are inconsistent with plaintiff’s assertion of disability due to his 17 mental health problems. 18 Second, the ALJ found plaintiff’s testimony to be inconsistent with his level of treatment, 19 citing several specific examples. The ALJ noted that plaintiff has not received “regular and 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 7 A Global Assessment of Functioning (“GAF”) score is the clinician’s judgment of the individual’s overall level of functioning. It is rated with respect only to psychological, social, and occupational functioning, without regard to impairments in functioning due to physical or environmental limitations. See American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 32 (4th Ed. 2000) (hereinafter, “DSM IV”). A rating of 41-50 on the GAF scale indicates “[s]erious symptoms (e.g., suicidal ideation, severe obsessional rituals, frequent shoplifting) OR any serious impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning (e.g., no friends, unable to keep a job).” See DSM-IV, at 34. 8 A GAF score from 61-70 indicates “[s]ome mild symptoms (e.g., depressed mood and mild insomnia) or some difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning (e.g., occasional truancy, or theft within the household), but generally functioning pretty well, has some meaningful interpersonal relationships.” See DSM-IV, at 34. 9 1 ongoing treatment for [his] physical complaints.” [AR at 23.] This is accurate, as the period from 2 August, 2009 to December, 2010 reflects only six treatment records for physical problems -- Dr. 3 Maze’s August 21, 2009, neurological evaluation (which was performed at the request of the 4 Social Security Administration in connection with plaintiff’s application); the two MRIs dated 5 February 23, 2010, and December 16, 2010; the September 12, 2010, neurosurgical consultation 6 note for plaintiff’s back pain; and the two urgent care notes for plaintiff’s right middle finger and left 7 thumb problems (all discussed supra). In addition, the ALJ observed that plaintiff “has not been 8 fully compliant with attending follow up appointments at Palmdale Mental Health Center,” which 9 is accurate, as plaintiff missed appointments on October 20, 2010, November 3, 2010, and 10 November 8, 2010. [AR at 404-05, 414.] Finally, the ALJ stated that there is “evidence of 11 substance abuse after the current application filing date [of May 4, 2009], and as recent as May 12 2010.”9 [AR at 23.] The ALJ concluded that “[i]t is reasonable to assume that if [plaintiff] were 13 experiencing the disabling problems alleged, he would have received regular and ongoing 14 treatment, he would have been fully compliant with treatment, and he would not have engaged in 15 substance abuse.” [Id.] The inconsistencies the ALJ identified between plaintiff’s treatment and 16 his testimony constitute a legally adequate reason to discount his credibility. See Johnson v. 17 Shalala, 60 F.3d 1428, 1434 (9th Cir. 1995) (an ALJ may properly discredit a claimant’s testimony 18 based on contradictions between that testimony and the relevant medical evidence); see also 19 Tommasetti v. Astrue, 533 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Smolen v. Chater, 80 F.3d 20 1273, 1284 (9th Cir. 1996)) (internal quotations omitted) (an ALJ may properly rely on an 21 “unexplained or inadequately explained failure to seek treatment or to follow a prescribed course 22 of treatment” to discredit a claimant’s subjective symptom testimony). 23 Finally, the ALJ rejected plaintiff’s statements because he found that plaintiff’s daily 24 activities are inconsistent with his allegations concerning the severity of his symptoms, citing 25 plaintiff’s ability to care for himself, perform basic house and yard work, shop, watch television, 26 27 28 9 The ALJ states earlier in his decision that plaintiff “testified he last used drugs in May 2010” [AR at 20], but plaintiff actually testified that he last used drugs in March 2010. [See AR at 41.] Nevertheless, the Court does not find that the ALJ’s inaccuracy in this regard detracts from his conclusion. 10 1 repair watches [AR at 357], and attend church, traffic school, and Narcotics Anonymous meetings 2 once a week [AR at 397]. [See AR at 23.] While plaintiff should not be “penalized for attempting 3 to maintain some sense of normalcy in [his] life” (Reddick, 157 F.3d at 722), it is acceptable for 4 the ALJ to consider plaintiff’s daily activities in determining whether to credit his testimony 5 regarding the severity of his symptoms. See Smolen, 80 F.3d at 1284. In this case, the ALJ found 6 that plaintiff can perform medium work, which involves the ability to do a certain amount of lifting 7 and carrying, with periods of standing, walking, and sitting. See footnote 4, supra; see also 20 8 C.F.R. § 416.967(c) (“If someone can do medium work, we determine that he or she can also do 9 sedentary and light work.”); 20 C.F.R. § 416.967(b) (“a job is in [the] category [of light work] when 10 it requires a good deal of walking or standing, or when it involves sitting most of the time with 11 some pushing and pulling of arm or leg controls”). The tasks plaintiff regularly performs -- house- 12 cleaning; watering plants for an hour at a time; repairing watches; picking up his son from school; 13 shopping; going to his son’s baseball games; and attending church, traffic school, and Narcotics 14 Anonymous meetings once a week -- are thus likely to be transferable to the environment of the 15 workplace. Fair, 885 F.2d at 603 (“if, despite his claims of pain, a claimant is able to perform 16 household chores and other activities that involve many of the same physical tasks as a particular 17 type of job, it would not be farfetched for an ALJ to conclude that the claimant’s pain does not 18 prevent the claimant from working”); Orteza v. Shalala, 50 F.3d 748, 750 (9th Cir. 1995); Magallon 19 v. Astrue, 2011 WL 2791258, at *6 (C.D. Cal. July 15, 2011). 20 Because the ALJ provided clear and convincing reasons to discount plaintiff’s allegations 21 of pain and other subjective symptoms, his credibility determination must be upheld. See Green, 22 803 F.2d at 532. Remand is not warranted. 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 11 1 VI. 2 CONCLUSION 3 4 5 6 7 8 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 1. plaintiff’s request for reversal, or in the alternative, remand, is denied; and 2. the decision of the Commissioner is affirmed. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court serve copies of this Order and the Judgment herein on all parties or their counsel. This Memorandum Opinion and Order is not intended for publication, nor is it intended to be included in or submitted to any online service such as Westlaw or Lexis. 9 10 DATED: August 9, 2013 PAUL L. ABRAMS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 12

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