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Card v. Colvin

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

February 11, 2014

JULIE ANNE CARD, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN COLVIN, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

BRIAN A. TSUCHIDA, Magistrate Judge.

Julie Anne Card seeks review of the denial of her Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance Benefits applications. She contends the ALJ erred by (1) erroneously denying her request to subpoena a consultative examiner; (2) failing to further develop the record (3) discounting her credibility; (4) improperly assessing the medical evidence related to her lefthand impairments; (5) improperly assessed the medical opinion of Janine Shaw, M.D.; and (6) finding at step five that she could perform other jobs. Dkt. 14. As discussed below, the Court recommends the Commissioner's decision should be REVERSED and REMANDED for additional administrative proceedings.

BACKGROUND

Ms. Card is currently 43 years old, completed the ninth grade, and has worked as a car washer, housekeeper/janitor, newspaper deliverer, parts cutter/pallet loader, and upholsterer.[1] On February 18, 2010, she applied for benefits, alleging disability as of May 1, 2008. Tr. 224-29. Her applications were denied initially and on reconsideration. Tr. 126-29, 138-49. The ALJ conducted hearings on November 16, 2011 (Tr. 63-106), and April 26, 2012 (Tr. 107-20), and subsequently found Ms. Card not disabled. Tr. 32-62. As the Appeals Council denied Ms. Card's request for review, the ALJ's decision is the Commissioner's final decision. Tr. 1-7.

THE ALJ'S DECISION

Utilizing the five-step disability evaluation process, [2] the ALJ found:

Step one: Ms. Card has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since May 1, 2008.
Step two: Ms. Card's callus formation of the bilateral feet; lower back pain; left knee pain; right shoulder weakness; insomnia; major depressive disorder; anxiety disorder, personality disorder not otherwise specified; and gender identity disorder are severe.
Step three: These impairments did not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[3]
Residual Functional Capacity ("RFC"): Ms. Card can lift up to 20 pounds occasionally and lift and/or carry up to 10 pounds frequently; stand and/or walk about 2 hours during an 8-hour workday, with normal breaks; and sit about 6 hours during an 8hour workday, with normal breaks. She is limited to occasional overhead reaching with the right upper extremity. She can occasionally climb ramps, stairs, balance, stoop, kneel, and crouch. She can never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. She should avoid concentrated exposure to extreme temperatures of cold and heat, vibrations, industrialtypes of fumes and odors, and hazards such as unprotected heights. She can perform simple, routine tasks and follow short, simple instructions. She can perform simple duties that can be learned on-the-job in a short period. She will have the average ability to perform sustained work activities in an ordinary work setting on a regular and continuing basis within customary tolerances of employers' rules regarding sick leave and absences. She can have occasional interactions of a superficial nature with coworkers and supervisors and can work in proximity to coworkers but not in a cooperative or team effort. She can deal with occasional work setting changes. She cannot deal with the general public as in a sales position or where the general public is frequently encountered as an essential element of the work process. Incidental contact of a superficial nature with the general public is not precluded.
Step four: Ms. Card cannot perform her past work.
Step five: As there are other jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that Ms. Card can perform, she is not disabled.

Tr. ...


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