United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER REVERSING AND REMANDING CASE FOR AN AWARD OF
Richard A. Jones, United States District Judge
Lynn Holler seeks review of the denial of her application for
Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance
Benefits. Ms. Holler contends the ALJ erred by: (1) finding
she did not meet Listing 12.05C; (2) improperly evaluating
the medical and opinion evidence related to the severity of
her mental impairments; (3) failing to properly consider her
pelvic/abdominal impairment severe at step two, and failing
to properly consider her pain testimony with respect thereto.
Dkt. 11 at 1. As relief, Ms. Holler requests that this matter
be reversed and remanded for payment of benefits or,
alternatively, for further administrative proceedings. As
discussed below, the Court REVERSES the
Commissioner's final decision and
REMANDS the matter for an award of benefits
under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
January 2013, Ms. Holler applied for benefits, alleging
disability as of March 2010. Tr. 20. She subsequently amended
her alleged onset date to January 1, 2005. Id. Ms.
Holler's applications were denied initially and on
reconsideration. Id. After the ALJ conducted a
hearing on October 9, 2014, the ALJ issued a decision finding
Ms. Holler not disabled. Tr. 20-35.
the five-step disability evaluation process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Ms. Holler has not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since the amended alleged onset
date of January 1, 2005.
Step two: Ms. Holler has the following
severe impairments: lumbar/thoracic spine strain; bilateral
carpal tunnel syndrome; obesity; cognitive disorders
(variously diagnosed as amnestic disorder, cognitive
disorder, rule out attention deficit disorder (ADD) and
intellectual disability); affective disorders (variously
diagnosed as mood disorder, dysthymic disorder, postpartum
depression, depression, and bipolar disorder); and anxiety
disorders (variously diagnosed as anxiety and social phobia
with associated panic attacks and at times agoraphobia).
Step three: These impairments do not meet or
equal the requirements of a listed impairment.
Residual Functional Capacity: Ms. Holler can
perform light work with additional limitations. She can lift
and carry 20 pounds occasionally and 20 pounds frequently.
She can sit for about six hours and stand/walk for about six
hours in an eight-hour workday with regular breaks. She has
unlimited ability to push/pull without those exertional
limits. She can frequently climb ramps and stairs, balance,
kneel, crouch, and crawl. She can occasionally stoop and
climb ladders, ropes, and scaffolds. She can frequently
finger. She should avoid concentrated exposure to extreme
cold, vibration, and hazards. She can understand, remember,
and carry out simple, routine, and repetitive tasks
consistent with jobs with an SVP of 1-2. She can work in
small groups of coworkers. She can have incidental brief
contact with the general public. She can have occasional
contact with supervisors. Job requirements and expectations
should be clear and involve a routine o[r] predictable work
environment and tasks with few changes in the routine.
Step four: Ms. Holler cannot perform past
Step five: As there are jobs that exist in
significant numbers in the national economy that Ms. Holler
can perform, she is not disabled.
Tr. 20-35. The Appeals Council denied Ms. Holler's
request for review making the ALJ's decision the