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Berens v. Berryhill

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

September 12, 2017

LESLIE BERENS, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER REVERSING AND REMANDING THE COMMISSIONER'S DECISION

          BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge

         I. BASIC DATA

         Type of Benefits Sought:

         (X) Disability Insurance

         () Supplemental Security Income

         Plaintiff's:

         Sex: Female

         Age: 46 at alleged onset date

         Principal Disabilities Alleged by Plaintiff: Stage one breast cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical degenerative disc disease, attention deficit disorder, and anxiety

         Disability Allegedly Began: May 13, 2010

         Principal Previous Work Experience: Hairdresser

         Education Level Achieved by Plaintiff: High school diploma

         II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY-ADMINISTRATIVE

         Before ALJ Laura Valente:

         Date of Hearing: November 19, 2015; hearing transcript AR 710-48

         Date of Decision: January 29, 2016

         Appears in Record at: AR 691-703

         Summary of Decision:

The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period from her alleged onset date of May 13, 2010, through her date last insured of March 31, 2012. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the following severe impairments: right carpal tunnel syndrome, status post release in January 2011; cognitive disorder; affective disorder; and anxiety disorder. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
Through the date last insured, the claimant had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b) except she could lift or carry up to 20 pounds occasionally and ten pounds frequently; she could stand or walk about six hours in an eight-hour workday; she could sit up to six hours in an eight-hour workday; she was limited to no climbing of ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; she could frequently perform all other postural activities; she was limited to occasional bilateral overhead reaching with the right upper (dominant) extremity; she was limited to frequent gross handling and fine fingering; the left upper extremity was not affected; she must avoid concentrated exposure to extreme cold; she had sufficient concentration for simple repetitive tasks; she could maintain concentration and pace in two-hour increments with usual customary breaks throughout an eight-hour day; she could work in proximity to co-workers, but not in coordination with them; she could work at a consistent pace with usual and customary breaks throughout an eight-hour day; she could work superficially and occasionally with the general public (“superficially” meaning that she could refer the public to others to resolve demands or requests but she herself was not having to resolve them); and she could interact frequently with supervisors and deal with workplace changes as may be required for simple repetitive work.
Through the date last insured, the claimant was unable to perform any past relevant work. Through the date last insured, considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and RFC, there were jobs that existed in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant could have performed. Therefore, the claimant was not under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, during the ...

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