Reeshemah Jones v. Carolyn W. Colvin

Filing 22

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER by Magistrate Judge Ralph Zarefsky. (ib)

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O 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 REESHEMAH JONES, Plaintiff, 12 vs. 13 14 CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, 15 Defendant. 16 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) CASE NO. CV 14-04294 RZ MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 17 The Administrative Law Judge found Plaintiff Reeshemah Jones disabled as 18 of July 27, 2012, but not before. Plaintiff challenges the determination that she was not 19 disabled prior to July 27, 2012. 20 According to the Administrative Law Judge, Plaintiff had severe impairments 21 concerning her back: cervical and lumbar degenerative disc disease with radiculopathy. 22 [AR 20] Plaintiff’s primary argument is that there was medical evidence in the record that 23 showed she had similar problems prior to July 27, 2012. However, the Administrative Law 24 Judge properly evaluated the evidence, and found otherwise. He was within his authority 25 in doing so. 26 The July 27, 2012 date comes from a consultant’s examination conducted one 27 month before that date. [AR 368, referenced by the Administrative Law Judge, AR 24] 28 Accordingly, there was substantial evidence supporting this finding. Plaintiff points to a 1 prior report in 2004 but, as the Administrative Law Judge concluded, there was scant 2 evidence between 2004 and 2012 indicating any impact from any such impairment. The 3 Administrative Law Judge documented that there were only a few references to back pain 4 during this time; that Plaintiff was treated conservatively, with symptoms treated primarily 5 with medications; and that as late as 2011, one year before the record established disability, 6 that Plaintiff underwent a consultative physical exam that was essentially unremarkable. 7 [AR 23] Perhaps another administrative law judge could have teased out from these 8 records an earlier onset date; but the records were susceptible to the interpretation the 9 Administrative Law Judge gave them, and that is the end of the matter. Batson v. 10 Commissioner, 359 F.3d 1190, 1196 (9th Cir. 2004). 11 Plaintiff also complains that the Administrative Law Judge improperly 12 determined that, prior to the onset date, Plaintiff had a residual functional capacity to 13 perform work at a medium exertional level. 14 Administrative Law Judge here. Thus, as noted, Plaintiff had a consultative examination 15 on May 20, 2011. [AR 255] The consultant concluded at that time that Plaintiff retained 16 the capacity to perform medium level work. [AR 259] The Administrative Law Judge 17 referenced this report [AR 23], and therefore there was substantial evidence in the record 18 supporting the Administrative Law Judge’s determination. Plaintiff’s only contrary 19 argument is that it cannot be that she was not disabled in 2011 but then became disabled 20 in 2012. But the medical record showed otherwise. In accordance with the foregoing, the decision of the Commissioner is 21 22 23 The record, however, supports the affirmed. DATED: March 23, 2015 24 25 RALPH ZAREFSKY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 26 27 28 -2-

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