United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT
J. RICHARD CREATURA, Magistrate Judge.
This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Fed.R.Civ.P. 73 and Local Magistrate Judge Rule MJR 13 ( see also Notice of Initial Assignment to a U.S. Magistrate Judge and Consent Form, ECF No. 5; Consent to Proceed Before a United States Magistrate Judge, ECF No. 6). This matter has been fully briefed ( see ECF Nos. 14, 15, 16).
In this case, the ALJ failed to provide specific and legitimate reasons supported by substantial evidence in the record to discount the opinion of an examining psychiatrist and failed to include in the RFC physical limitations identified by an examining physician. Therefore, this matter must be reversed and remanded pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to the ALJ for further consideration.
Plaintiff, LAURA BRADSHAW, was born in 1972 and was 37 years old on the alleged date of disability onset of October 25, 2009 ( see Tr. 52-53). Plaintiff completed high school and some college (Tr. 663). Plaintiff has work experience as a Certified Nursing Assistant, care giver, receptionist, cashier and hair stylist (Tr. 97-109). Plaintiff was fired from her last job as a Certified Nursing Assistant because she was sick too often (Tr. 676).
According to the ALJ, plaintiff has at least the severe impairments of "gastroparesis, depression, cannabis abuse, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder by history, fibromyalgia, and scoliosis (20 CFR 404.1520(c))" (Tr. 14).
At the time of the hearing, plaintiff was living in a mobile home on two acres with her husband and two teenage children (Tr. 663-64, 675).
Plaintiff's application for disability insurance ("DIB") benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 423 (Title II) of the Social Security Act was denied initially and following reconsideration ( see Tr. 26-27). Plaintiff's requested hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge Scott R. Morris ("the ALJ") on May 31, 2012 ( see Tr. 652-93). On August 28, 2012, the ALJ issued a written decision in which the ALJ concluded that plaintiff was not disabled pursuant to the Social Security Act ( see Tr. 12-25).
In plaintiff's Opening Brief, plaintiff raises the following issues: (1) Whether or not the ALJ provided legitimate reasons for rejecting the medical opinion of Dr. Khaleeq; (2) Whether or not the ALJ's residual functional capacity ("RFC") finding is incomplete, as it did not include the need for hourly bathroom breaks as identified by Dr. Pfeiffer; (3) Whether or not the ALJ provided any germane reasons to reject plaintiff's husband statement; and (4) Whether or not the ALJ provided clear and convincing reasons for finding that plaintiff's testimony was not credible ( see ECF No. 14, p. 2).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court may set aside the Commissioner's denial of social security benefits if the ALJ's findings are based on legal error or not supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. Bayliss v. Barnhart , 427 F.3d 1211, 1214 n.1 (9th Cir. 2005) ( citing Tidwell v. Apfel , 161 F.3d 599, 601 (9th Cir. 1999)).
(1) Whether or not the ALJ provided specific and legitimate reasons for rejecting the ...