Gray v. Commissioner Social Security Administration
OPINION AND ORDER: For the reasons stated, the Commissioner's final decision is AFFIRMED and this action is DISMISSED. IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED this 15th day of November, 2021, by United States Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta. (pjg)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF OREGON
Case No. 6:20-cv-01129-AC
ADALINE S. G.,
OPINION AND ORDER
COMMISSIONER SOCIAL SECURITY
ACOSTA, Magistrate Judge:
Plaintiff Adaline S. G. 1 seeks judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner of
Social Security denying her application for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits
pursuant to Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-403. This court has jurisdiction
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). All parties have consented to allow a Magistrate Judge enter final
In the interest of privacy, this Opinion and Order uses only the first name and the initial of the
last name of the non-governmental party in this case.
Page 1 – OPINION AND ORDER
orders and judgment in this case in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). For the following
reasons, the Commissioner’s decision is affirmed.
On April 19, 2016, Plaintiff protectively filed an application for a period of disability and
disability benefits, alleging disability beginning October 1, 2015, due to fibromyalgia,
degenerative disc disease, two rotator cuff surgical repairs, arthritis, osteoporosis, hypertension,
hypothyroidism, and scoliosis. Tr. Soc. Sec. Admin. R. (“Tr.”) 2 46-47, 55-56, ECF Nos. 9, 16.
Plaintiff’s claims were denied initially and upon reconsideration. Plaintiff filed a request for a
hearing before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”). The ALJ held a hearing on May 9, 2018, at
which Plaintiff appeared with her attorney and testified. Tr. 782. Vocational Expert Erin Hunt
appeared and testified at the May 2018 hearing. Tr. 811. The ALJ conducted a second hearing
on May 8, 2019, at which Plaintiff appeared with her attorney and testified. Tr. 30. Vocational
Expert Susan K. Foster also appeared and testified at the May 2019 hearing. Tr. 43. On May
22, 2019, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision.
The Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff’s request for review, and therefore, the ALJ’s decision became the final decision of the
Commissioner for purposes of review. Tr. 1.
Plaintiff was born in 1956, was fifty-nine years old on the alleged onset of disability, sixtythree years old on the date of the ALJ’s decision, and will be sixty-five years old on her date last
insured. Tr. 25, 50, 63. Plaintiff completed school through ninth grade and has past relevant
work as a gambling cashier. Tr. 22, 37, 61.
The Transcript for this case is contained in two separate docket entries and is paginated
sequentially. See Tr. Soc. Sec. Admin. R., ECF No. 9; Tr. Soc. Sec. Admin. R., ECF No. 16.
For convenience, the court simply cites to “Tr.” as have the parties in their briefing.
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The ALJ determined that Plaintiff meets the insured status requirements through December
31, 2021, and at step one, found that she has not engaged in substantial gainful employment since
her alleged onset date of October 1, 2015, through the date of the decision. Tr. 15. At step two,
the ALJ determined that Plaintiff has following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease,
hypertension, thyroid disorder, and status post hip fracture with surgical fixation. Tr. 16. At step
three, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff’s severe impairments do not meet or equal the severity of
any listed impairment. Tr. 18. Reviewing all the evidence in the record, the ALJ determined
that Plaintiff has the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work, except that she
can occasionally stoop and climb ladders, ropes, and scaffolds. Tr. 18. At step four, the ALJ
determined that Plaintiff is able perform her past relevant work as a gambling cashier as actually
and generally performed, but did not make alternative step five findings. Tr. 22. The ALJ then
determined that Plaintiff has not been disabled since October 1, 2015, through the date of the
decision, and therefore, denied Plaintiff’s application for disability benefits. Tr. 27.
Issues on Review
Plaintiff contends the ALJ made the following errors: (1) failed to properly evaluate her
subjective symptom testimony; and (2) failed to account for her cognitive limitations in the RFC,
resulting in an error at step four. The Commissioner argues that the ALJ’s decision is supported
by substantial evidence and is free of legal error. Alternatively, the Commissioner contends that
even if the ALJ erred, Plaintiff has not demonstrated harmful error.
Standard of Review
The district court must affirm the Commissioner’s decision if the Commissioner applied
proper legal standards and the findings are supported by substantial evidence in the record. 42
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U.S.C. § 405(g); Trevizo v. Berryhill, 871 F.3d 664, 674 (9th Cir. 2017). Substantial evidence is
“more than a mere scintilla” and is “such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.” Biestek v. Berryhill, 139 S. Ct. 1148, 1154 (2019) (internal
quotation and citation omitted); Ford v. Saul, 950 F.3d 1141, 1154 (9th Cir. 2020); Garrison v.
Colvin, 759 F.3d 995, 1009 (9th Cir. 2014). To determine whether substantial evidence exists,
the court must weigh all the evidence, whether it supports or detracts from the Commissioner’s
decision. Trevizo, 871 F.3d at 675; Garrison, 759 F.3d at 1009. “‘If the evidence can reasonably
support either affirming or reversing,’ the reviewing court ‘may not substitute its judgment’ for
that of the Commissioner.” Gutierrez v. Comm’r Soc. Sec. Admin., 740 F.3d 519, 523 (9th Cir.
2014) (quoting Reddick v. Chater, 157 F.3d 715, 720-21 (9th Cir. 1996)).
The ALJ Did Not Err in Evaluating Plaintiff’s Subjective Symptom Testimony
To determine whether a claimant’s testimony regarding subjective pain or symptoms is
credible, an ALJ must perform two stages of analysis. Trevizo, 871 F.3d at 678; 20 C.F.R. §
404.1529. The first stage is a threshold test in which the claimant must produce objective medical
evidence of an underlying impairment that reasonably could be expected to produce the symptoms
alleged. Treichler v. Comm’r Soc. Sec. Admin., 775 F.3d 1090; 1102 (9th Cir. 2014); Tommasetti
v. Astrue, 533 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2008). At the second stage, absent affirmative evidence
that the claimant is malingering, the ALJ must provide clear and convincing reasons for
discounting the claimant’s testimony regarding the severity of the symptoms. Carmickle v.
Comm’r Soc. Sec. Admin., 533 F.3d 1155, 1160 (9th Cir. 2008); Lingenfelter v. Astrue, 504 F.3d
1028, 1036 (9th Cir. 2007).
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The ALJ must make findings that are sufficiently specific to permit the reviewing court to
conclude that the ALJ did not arbitrarily discredit the claimant’s testimony. Brown-Hunter v.
Colvin, 806 F.3d 487, 493 (9th Cir. 2015). Factors the ALJ may consider when making such
credibility determinations include the objective medical evidence, the claimant’s treatment history,
the claimant’s daily activities, and inconsistencies in testimony. Ghanim v. Colvin, 763 F.3d
1154, 1163 (9th Cir. 2013); Tommasetti, 533 F.3d at 1039.
At the first hearing in May 2018, Plaintiff testified to being sixty-two years old and living
with her husband. Tr. 793, 798. Plaintiff testified that she had worked full-time at a casino for
eighteen years and had cash handling problems “towards the end because I couldn’t concentrate.”
Tr. 800, 802. Plaintiff reported being placed on a performance improvement plan, but being
unable to concentrate on each transaction, and so she was terminated. Tr. 803, 811. She noted
that she was not offered other jobs or modified positions. Tr. 811. Plaintiff testified that her
former job required seven hours of standing per day and to lift approximately fifty pounds once
per day. Tr. 794. Plaintiff estimated that she occasionally could lift twenty-five pounds and
stand for fifteen minutes, then not at all because “[m]y back goes.” Tr. 799-800. Plaintiff stated
that she can perform household chores for fifteen minutes before needing a break, and that she is
unable to be on her feet for more than four hours in an eight-hour period. Tr. 807. Plaintiff
testified she takes medications for hypertension (amlodipine), hyperthyroid (levothyroxine), and
fibromyalgia (citalopram). Tr. 805, 810. Plaintiff stated that the antidepressant can make her a
little foggy, and that it may have contributed to her making mistakes while working. Tr. 806.
At the conclusion of the first hearing, the ALJ ordered a comprehensive psychological
evaluation. Tr. 808-10. The ALJ conducted a second hearing in May 2019. Tr. 30. At that
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hearing, Plaintiff testified that in June 2018, she fell and broke her hip. Tr. 42. She stated her
back was a little bit worse, and that she cannot sit or stand for lengthy periods. Tr. 43.
In a May 26, 2016 Adult Function Report, Plaintiff describes that she is in pain 24/7, which
makes it hard to cope or concentrate on anything, and that “fibro fog” gets in the way. Tr. 220.
She described that she is sleepy most of the time, and that she is tired even if she gets nine hours
of sleep. Tr. 220. She states that during a typical day, she does housework such as cleaning and
cooking, and that she also watches television and goes online. Tr. 221. Plaintiff stated she can
clean, wash dishes, feed pets, and wash laundry, and that she no longer performs yard work because
it is too difficult. Tr. 223. She said she can shop for groceries every couple of days for one to
one and one-half hours, drive a car, and goes outside for walks. Tr. 223. She described that she
can pay bills and make change, although she is not as accurate, and that she likes to go for lunch
once a week with friends and gamble. Tr. 224. Plaintiff stated that she follows written and oral
instructions very well, does not have difficulty with authority figures, and can handle stress and
changes in routine. Tr. 225-26.
In the decision, the ALJ described that Plaintiff’s medically determinable impairments
could reasonably be expected to cause her alleged symptoms, but that her statements concerning
the intensity, persistence and limiting effects of her symptoms were not entirely consistent with
the medical and other evidence in the record, citing three reasons: (1) the medical evidence does
not support her allegations of disabling physical limitations; (2) the lack of mental health treatment
and limited medical evidence are inconsistent with severe cognitive limitations; and (3) her
employment records are inconsistent with disabling cognitive limitations. As explained below,
the court readily finds the ALJ has provided specific, clear and convincing reasons, backed by
substantial evidence, for discounting Plaintiff’s subjective symptom testimony.
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inconsistency with medical evidence/conservative treatment
In evaluating a claimant’s subjective symptom testimony, an ALJ may consider whether it
is consistent with objective medical evidence. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1529(c)(1)-(3); SSR 16-3p,
available at 2017 WL 5180304, at *7-8. A lack of objective medical evidence may not form the
sole basis for discounting a claimant’s testimony. Tammy S. v. Comm’r Soc. Sec. Admin., No.
6:17-cv-01562-HZ, 2018 WL 5924505, at *4 (D. Or. Nov. 10, 2018) (citing Reddick, 157 F.3d at
722 (“[T]he Commissioner may not discredit [a] claimant’s testimony as to the severity of
symptoms merely because they are unsupported by objective medical evidence.”)). However,
when coupled with other permissible reasons, inconsistencies between a claimant’s allegations and
objective medical evidence may be used to discount a claimant’s testimony. Tatyana K. v.
Berryhill, No. 3:17-cv-01816-AC, 2019 WL 464965, at *4 (D. Or. Feb. 6, 2019) (citing Batson v.
Comm’r Soc. Sec. Admin., 359 F.3d 1190, 1197-98 (9th Cir. 2004)).
In the decision, the ALJ detailed numerous inconsistencies between Plaintiff’s alleged
symptoms and the objective medical evidence. For example, the ALJ observed that contrary to
Plaintiff’s testimony that she can stand for only fifteen minutes before her “back goes,” x-rays of
her thoracic and lumbar spine in 2015 showed only “mild degenerative changes.” Tr. 18-19. As
the ALJ accurately discussed, Plaintiff’s February 20, 2015 thoracic spine images showed “mild
dextroscoliosis,” “mild diffuse osteoporosis,” and “moderate loss in height at T11-12 disc and
degenerative arthritic spurring.”
Tr. 18, 665.
The ALJ also accurately observed that
contemporaneous images of her lumbar spine showed “mild left convex lumbar scoliosis,” and
that the disc spaces showed “no acute findings” and “no significant narrowing,” and only mild
degenerative changes. Tr. 18, 666. The ALJ found, contrary to Plaintiff’s testimony that her
blood pressure, thyroid, and antidepressant medications cause fogginess, that her medical records
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failed to describe any adverse medication side effects. Tr. 18 (citing Tr. 650-662). The ALJ’s
findings are wholly supported by substantial evidence and the ALJ reasonably discounted her
testimony on this basis. See Burch v. Barnhart, 400 F.3d 676, 681 (9th Cir. 2005) (finding ALJ
appropriately considered mild findings on MRIs and X-rays in discounting claimant’s testimony
as to her back pain).
The ALJ discussed March 2016 treatment notes from Tisha M. Larsen, FNP, from whom
Plaintiff sought treatment for her hypertension and thyroid condition. Tr. 19. The ALJ indicated
that Plaintiff was then reporting vision changes, that Plaintiff had been without blood pressure
medication for six weeks, and that she was nearly out of thyroid medication. Tr. 19. Larsen
restarted amlodipine for hypertension and continued levothyroxine for her hypothyroidism. Tr.
19, 646-49. The ALJ noted that Larson described Plaintiff as being alert, oriented times three,
normal mood and affect, ambulated with normal gait, and found no muscle wasting, tenderness, or
Tr. 19, 648-49.
The ALJ found Larsen’s relatively benign
treatment notes inconsistent with Plaintiff’s allegations of total disability. Tr. 19. See Parra v.
Astrue, 481 F.3d 742, 751 (9th Cir. 2007) (holding ALJ may properly discount claimant’s
testimony concerning the severity of impairments based on conservative course of treatment).
The ALJ discussed that the August 2016 treatment notes from Dr. Simmons are
inconsistent with disabling physical limitations. Tr. 19. The ALJ detailed that contrary to
Plaintiff’s allegations of “primary fibromyalgia syndrome” Dr. Simmons treatment notes do not
reflect that Plaintiff exhibited any positive fibromyalgia tender points during the examination. Tr.
The ALJ detailed that Dr. Simmons’ treatment notes showed Plaintiff ambulated
normally with a normal gait, had normal motor strength, and had normal movement in all
extremities, with clear lungs and regular heart rate. Tr. 19, 674. The ALJ noted that Dr.
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Simmons prescribed tizadine for Plaintiff’s fibromyalgia, noted her hypertension was wellcontrolled on amlodipine, and that her thyroid medication was not yet due to be refilled. Tr. 19,
674-75. The ALJ specifically found that Dr. Simmon’s “objective observations” and “prescribed
treatment” were not “persuasive evidence of disabling physical symptoms or limitations.” Tr. 19.
The ALJ’s findings are supported by substantial evidence, and the ALJ reasonably discounted Dr.
Simmons’s testimony on this basis. See Warre v. Astrue, 439 F.3d 1001, 1006 (9th Cir. 2006)
(“Impairments that can be controlled effectively with medication are not disabling” under the Act.)
The ALJ detailed that Plaintiff suffered a fracture to her left femur which was surgically
repaired by Robert G. Kloepper, M.D., on June 3, 2018, with a gamma nail fixation. Tr. 19-20.
Dr. Kloepper’s treatment notes show that Plaintiff had good bone healing, near anatomic
alignment, no infection, and reported no pain at the fracture site, and in July 2018, she was released
to perform all activities as tolerated.
The ALJ discussed Dr. Kloepper’s
postoperative treatment notes showed that Plaintiff reported left hip pain ten weeks after surgery,
which Plaintiff described as muscular in nature, and that Plaintiff reported not undertaking physical
therapy due to insurance issues. Tr. 20, 753. The ALJ described that Dr. Kloepper’s notes
reflected that Plaintiff was alert, oriented times three, and with normal affect, and that the record
contains no further follow up treatment notes. Tr. 20, 573-54. The ALJ found that aside from
Plaintiff’s 2018 left femur fracture, Plaintiff’s medial treatment has been sporadic, routine, and
conservative, and thus failed to support her allegations of chronic, disabling physical limitations.
Based on the lack of objective findings and prescribed treatments, the ALJ reasonably
concluded that Plaintiff’s subjective limitation assertions are undermined by the medical evidence.
The ALJ’s findings are wholly supported substantial evidence in the record, are a reasonable
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interpretation of the record, and will not be second-guessed. Carmickle, 533 F.3d at 1161 (finding
contradiction with the medical record an appropriate basis to reject a claimant’s subjective
symptom testimony); Kellie Ann B. v. Comm’r Soc. Sec. Admin., Case No. 1:18-cv-01427-HZ,
2019 WL 2518120, at *4-5 (D. Or. June 18, 2019) (holding ALJ appropriately discounted
claimant’s allegations of extreme limitations where MRI revealed mild findings).
lack of mental health treatment or objective findings
The ALJ rejected Plaintiff’s allegations of disabling mental impairments or cognitive
limitations because they are not supported by objective evidence and she has not undertaken any
specific mental health treatment. Tr. 21. The lack of mental health treatment can be a clear and
convincing reason to discount allegations of disabling mental health limitations. See Molina v.
Astrue, 674 F.3d 1104, 1113 (9th Cir. 2012), superseded by regulation on other grounds
(explaining that the ALJ properly rejected claimant’s subjective symptom testimony because the
claimant failed to seek treatment and there was no medical evidence that any failure was
attributable to the claimant’s mental impairments).
Additionally, an “unexplained or
inadequately explained failure to seek treatment” may be a clear and convincing reason to discount
a claimant’s testimony. Id. (internal quotation and citation omitted); Tomasetti, 533 F.3d at 1039.
At the first hearing’s conclusion, the ALJ held the record open to obtain a psychodiagnostic
evaluation because the record contained little evidence of mental health treatment. Tr. 808. On
August 9, 2018, Scott T. Alvord, PsyD., conducted that evaluation. Tr. 682. The ALJ observed
that Plaintiff told Dr. Alvord she experienced low-grade depression, with lethargy, fatigue,
tearfulness, and low-motivation, and that she was taking an anti-depressant. Tr. 20. The ALJ
noted that Plaintiff alleged a 15-year history of attention and focus problems, and that she was
terminated from her job because she could not concentrate. Tr. 20. In discussing Dr. Alvord’s
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examination findings, the ALJ note that Plaintiff’s mood was “a little bit down,” her affect was
euthymic, she was alert and fully oriented with normal speech. Tr. 20, 683-84. The ALJ also
noted that Dr. Alvord found Plaintiff’s immediate working memory intact, in that she could recall
three of three words after five minutes, could perform serial threes and some serial sevens with
difficulty, and could perform a multiplication problem. Tr. 20, 684. The ALJ noted Dr. Alvord
found Plaintiff spelled “world” correctly forward and incorrectly backward, could think abstractly,
had adequate judgment and insight, and low average global intelligence. Tr. 20, 684-85.
The ALJ discussed that Dr. Alvord diagnosed Somatic Symptom Disorder and Major
Depressive Disorder that he classified as “mild,” and that her psychiatric symptoms were
“reasonably controlled with medications at this time.” Tr. 685. Dr. Alvord found that Plaintiff’s
attention and concentration testing failed to reveal any neurocognitive disorder. Tr. 684-85. The
ALJ also noted Dr. Alvord’s opinion that Plaintiff has only “mild” limitations in ten specific social
and cognitive abilities. Tr. 687-88. Based on Dr. Alvord’s examination report, and his clinical
observations and overall mild limitations described therein, the ALJ discounted Plaintiff’s
allegations of severe mental impairments. The ALJ also noted that despite alleging concentration
and focus problems, neither Dr. Alvord’s examination nor his treatment notes generally describe
Plaintiff as having difficulties in concentration or focus. Tr. 18. The ALJ’s findings in this
regard are wholly supported by substantial evidence in the record.
Based on the lack of significant mental health findings and the lack of mental health
treatment, the ALJ reasonably could conclude that Plaintiff’s allegations of severe mental health
limitations due to her anxiety and depression and alleged cognitive difficulties sustaining
concentration and focused are not supported by the objective medical evidence. Tr. 18, 21. As
the ALJ carefully detailed, the objective medical evidence is simply devoid of any notable findings
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to support the severity of her mental health allegations. Accordingly, the ALJ appropriately
discounted her subjective symptom testimony on this basis. Burch, 400 F.3d at 681 (holding that
ALJ may consider lack of medical evidence but it cannot be the only factor supporting an adverse
credibility finding); Molina, 674 F.3d at 1113 (ALJ may discount claimant’s credibility for an
unexplained or inadequately explained failure to seek mental health treatment); Marina P. v.
Comm’r Soc. Sec. Admin., 3:18-cv-00236-AC, 2019 WL 12360976, at *5 (D. Or. Sept. 27, 2019),
adopted 2020 WL 589531 (D. Or. Feb. 6, 2020) (finding ALJ appropriately discounted claimant’s
subjective symptom testimony where “the objective medical evidence is simply devoid of any
notable findings to support the severity of her allegations”).
Contrary to Plaintiff’s suggestion, the ALJ did not err by failing to develop the record fully
and fairly because “[a]n ALJ’s duty to develop the record further is triggered only when there is
ambiguous evidence or when the record is inadequate to allow for proper evaluation of the
evidence.” Mayes v. Massanari, 276 F.3d 453, 459-60 (9th Cir. 2001). Although Plaintiff
suggests the ALJ should have inquired further about whether she undertook mental health
treatment prior to her alleged onset date, there is nothing in the current record suggesting that any
such treatment records exist, and Plaintiff identifies none. See Meanel v. Apfel, 172 F.3d 1111,
1113 (9th Cir. 1999) (“The claimant bears the burden of proving that she is disabled.”). Further,
Plaintiff does not challenge the ALJ’s assessment of Dr. Alvord’s opinion, and as the ALJ
discussed, there is no record evidence of any specific mental health treatment. Tr. 21. Plaintiff
fails to show how the record before the ALJ was ambiguous or inadequate, and the court rejects
Plaintiff’s contrary contention. In short, the ALJ’s findings are wholly supported by substantial
evidence and are a reasonable interpretation of the evidence, and the ALJ appropriately discounted
Plaintiff’s subjective symptom testimony on this basis.
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employment records inconsistent with disabling cognitive limitations
Plaintiff’s attorney submitted 327 pages of personnel records from Plaintiff’s former
employer for the ALJ’s consideration. As the ALJ accurately described, the records document
Plaintiff being written up or reprimanded for making errors or not following workplace rules or
procedures. Tr. 21 (citing Tr. 300-631). The ALJ clearly considered the employment records
and found that when viewing them against the longitudinal record, including her treatment notes
and Dr. Alvord’s examination findings, the records simply were not “persuasive evidence of
disabling cognitive limitations as her representative argues them to be.” Tr. 21.
After careful review, the court concludes that the ALJ’s findings are a reasonable
interpretation of the record and supported by substantial evidence, and that the ALJ could discount
Plaintiff’s allegations of disabling cognitive limitations on this basis. See Smolen v. Chater, 80
F.3d 1273, 1284 (9th Cir. 1996) (noting that an ALJ may consider “ordinary techniques of
credibility evaluation”); Fair v. Bowen, 885 F.2d 597, 603 (9th Cir. 1987) (providing that an ALJ
not required to believe every allegation of disabling pain, or “disability benefits would be available
for the asking”).
Even if the personnel records could be interpreted differently, the ALJ’s
conclusion is a reasonable one, and therefore, must be upheld. See Shaibi v. Berryhill, 883 F.3d
1102, 1108 (9th Cir. 2017) (holding that even if evidence is susceptible to more than one
interpretation, where the ALJ’s reasoning is supported by substantial evidence and is rational, it
must be upheld).
In summary, the ALJ thoroughly discussed the record and provided specific details about
the lack of objective medical evidence, the conservative treatment, and lack of treatment
supporting the severity of Plaintiff’s allegations, and that her employment record does not support
her allegations of cognitive deficits.
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Therefore, the ALJ has provided specific, clear and
convincing reasons to discount Plaintiff’s subjective symptom testimony based on reasonable
inferences drawn from the record as whole. Molina, 674 F.3d at 1111. The ALJ’s findings are
sufficiently specific to permit the court to conclude that Plaintiff’s subjective symptom testimony
was not arbitrarily discredited; the ALJ did not err. Brown-Hunter, 806 F.3d at 493.
The ALJ Considered All of Plaintiff’s Credited Limitations in the RFC
The RFC is the most a claimant can do despite her limitations.
20 C.F.R. §
404.1545(a)(1). The ALJ is required to include only those limitations that are supported by
substantial evidence in the RFC and, by extension, hypothetical questions posed to the VE.
Osenbrock v. Apfel, 240 F.3d 1157, 1163-65 (9th Cir. 2001); 20 C.F.R. § 404.1545(a) (discussing
RFC). Here, the ALJ provided clear and convincing reasons for discounting Plaintiff’s subjective
symptom testimony, and Plaintiff does not challenge the ALJ’s evaluation of the medical opinion
evidence. Plaintiff’s contention that the ALJ erred by failing to include her alleged cognitive
limitations in the RFC largely repeats her arguments concerning the ALJ’s rejection of her
subjective symptom testimony. Because the ALJ did not err in evaluating Plaintiff’s subjective
symptom testimony or the medical evidence, the ALJ’s RFC included all those limitations found
credible and supported by substantial evidence, and he did not err in formulating the RFC.
Osenbrock, 240 F.3d at 1163-65; Bayliss v. Barnhart, 427 F.3d 1211, 1217 (9th Cir. 2005) (holding
where ALJ has not committed legal error and decision is supported by substantial error, the RFC
contains all credited limitations); Marina P., 2019 WL 12360976, at *17 (same).
For the reasons stated above, the Commissioner’s final decision is AFFIRMED and this
action is DISMISSED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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DATED this 15th day of November, 2021.
JOHN V. ACOSTA
United States Magistrate Judge
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