Brown-Hunter v. Colvin, No. 13-15213 (9th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff (Claimant) appealed the denial of her social security disability benefits and supplemental security income. The court held that when an ALJ determines that a claimant for Social Security benefits is not malingering and has provided objective medical evidence of an underlying impairment which might reasonably produce the pain or other symptoms she alleges, the ALJ may reject the claimant’s testimony about the severity of those symptoms only by providing specific, clear, and convincing reasons for doing so; an ALJ does not provide specific, clear, and convincing reasons for rejecting a claimant’s testimony by simply reciting the medical evidence in support of his or her residual functional capacity determination; and, in this case, the ALJ committed legal error where the ALJ found generally that the claimant’s testimony was not credible, but failed to identify which testimony she found not credible and why. The court concluded that the error was not harmless because it precluded the court from conducting a meaningful review. Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's judgment and instructed the district court to remand to the ALJ for further proceedings.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on November 3, 2015.