United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
YURIY N. OVSEPYAN, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
ORDER REVERSING AND REMANDING DEFENDANT'S
DECISION TO DENY BENEFITS
J. BRYAN, United States District Judge
Yuriy N. Ovsepyan seeks review of the denial of his
application for supplemental security income
(“SSI”) benefits. Plaintiff contends that the
administrative law judge (“ALJ”) erred in
evaluating the medical evidence, plaintiff's testimony,
and the lay witness testimony, and therefore in assessing his
residual functional capacity (“RFC”). Dkt. 9 at
2. As discussed below, the Court REVERSES
Defendant Commissioner Nancy A. Berryhill's (“the
Commissioner”) final decision and
REMANDS the case for further administrative
January 10, 2014, plaintiff filed an application for SSI
benefits, alleging disability as of September 15, 2008. Dkt.
7, Administrative Record (“AR”) 9.
Plaintiff's application was denied initially and on
reconsideration. Id. After the ALJ conducted a
hearing on April 29, 2015, the ALJ issued a decision finding
plaintiff not disabled. AR 9-21.
the five-step disability evaluation process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since January 10, 2014, the
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe
impairments: depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and
Step three: Plaintiff's impairments do
not meet or equal the requirements of a listed
RFC: Plaintiff has the ability to perform a
full range of work at all exertional levels but with the
following non-exertional limitations. Plaintiff can perform
work in which concentrated exposure to loud noise, fumes,
odors, dust, gases, and/or poor ventilation is not present.
Further, plaintiff can understand, remember, and carry out
unskilled, routine, and repetitive work and can cope with
occasional work setting change and occasional interaction
with supervisors. Plaintiff can work in proximity to
coworkers but not in a team or cooperative effort. Plaintiff
can perform work that does not require interaction with the
public as an essential element of the job, but occasional
incidental contact with the general public is not precluded.
Step four: As plaintiff is capable of
performing past relevant work as a janitor, plaintiff has not
disabled since January 10, 2014, the date the application was
See AR 9-21. The Appeals Council denied
plaintiff's request for review, making the ALJ's
decision the Commissioner's final decision. See
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 ...