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Miller v. Berryhill

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

May 23, 2017

NICK MILLER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Defendant.

          ORDER AFFIRMING DECISION TO DENY BENEFITS

          JAMES L. ROBART United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Nick Miller seeks review of the denial of his application for disability insurance benefits. Mr. Miller contends that the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") erred in evaluating Mr. Miller's severe impairments, the medical evidence in the record, and Mr. Miller's residual functional capacity ("RFC"). (Op. Br. (Dkt. # 8) at 2.) Having considered the submissions of the parties, the relevant portions of the record, and the applicable law, the court AFFIRMS Defendant Commissioner Nancy A. Berryhill's ("the Commissioner") final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On June 12, 2012, Mr. Miller protectively filed an application for disability insurance benefits. (Administrative Record ("AR") (Dkt. # 3) at 21.) Mr. Miller's application was denied initially and on reconsideration. (Id.) After the ALJ conducted a hearing on August 19, 2014, the ALJ issued a decision finding Mr. Miller not disabled. (Id. at 21 -30.)

         In his decision, the ALJ utilized the five-step disability evaluation process, [1] and the court summarizes the ALJ's findings as follows:

Step one: Mr. Miller did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period from the alleged onset date of January 1, 1998, through his date last insured of March31, 2003.
Step two: Through the date last insured, Mr. Miller had the following severe impairments: chronic C5 radiculopathy, bilateral impingement syndrome, and history of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Step three: Through the date last insured, Mr. Miller did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or equaled the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
RFC: Through the date last insured, Mr. Miller had the RCF to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b) except that he needed to alternate between sitting and standing every 30 minutes. He could not perform repetitive handling and fingering. He could occasionally stoop and crouch. He could not perform overhead reaching bilaterally, He could not balance or climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. He needed to avoid even moderate exposure to hazards and vibrations.
Step four: Through the date last insured, Mr. Miller was unable to perform any past relevant work.
Step five: Because jobs existed in significant numbers in the national economy that Mr. Miller could, have performed through the date last insured, he was not disabled.

(See Id. at 21-30.) The Appeals Council denied Mr. Miller's request for review, making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's final decision.[3] (See Id. at 1-7.)

         III. ...


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