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Holmes v. Colvin

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

August 6, 2014

KEVIN RAY HOLMES, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

BRIAN A. TSUCHIDA, Magistrate Judge.

Kevin Ray Holmes seeks review of the denial of his Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance Benefits applications. He contends the ALJ erred by failing to properly consider his anxiety disorder and diabetes mellitus at step two, and by rejecting the medical opinions of Rebecca Hale, PA-C and Dr. Janice Shaw, M.D.; and Jenny Walter, PA-C and Elizabeth Gabay, M.D. Dkt. 15. He also contends the Appeals Council erred in finding that new evidence he submitted after his hearing did not provide a basis for changing the ALJ's decision. Id. As discussed below, the Court recommends the Commissioner's decision be AFFIRMED and the case be DISMISSED with prejudice.

BACKGROUND

Mr. Holmes is currently 43 years old, has a high school education, and has worked as a janitor, glazer, construction worker, and floor worker. Tr. 53, 54, 90-91. On September 9, 2010, he applied for benefits, alleging disability as of January 1, 2005. Tr. 24, 249, 256. His applications were denied initially and on reconsideration. Tr. 24; see also Dkt. 15 at 2. The ALJ conducted a hearing on June 27, 2012, finding Mr. Holmes not disabled. Tr. 24-41. Mr. Holmes filed a Request for Review in September, 2012, submitting new evidence. Tr. 7-18. The Appeals Council reviewed the new evidence but denied his Request for Review, making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's final decision. Tr. 1-6.

THE ALJ'S DECISION

Utilizing the five-step disability evaluation process, [1] the ALJ found:

Step one: Mr. Holmes had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January 1, 2005, the alleged onset date.
Step two: Mr. Holmes had the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine with foraminal narrowing and disc protrusion; personality disorder NOS, major depressive disorder, PTSD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and alcohol abuse (in remission).
Step three: These impairments did not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Mr. Holmes had the residual functional capacity to lift and carry ten pounds frequently and twenty pounds occasionally; stand and/or walk six hours in an eight-hour workday and sit for the same; occasionally climb, stoop, crouch, balance and crawl; and frequently kneel. Mr. Holmes could understand, remember, and carry out simple, routine, and repetitive tasks; he should avoid contact with the general public; he could have brief and superficial contact with supervisors and coworkers and could work in parallel with coworkers but not as part of a team. Mr. Holmes works best independently. Tr. 30.
Step four: Mr. Holmes could not perform his past work.
Step five: As there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that Mr. Holmes can perform, he is not disabled.

Tr. ...


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