United States District Court, W.D. Washington
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT
RICHARD CREATURA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
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, Dkt. 5; Consent to Proceed
Before a United States Magistrate Judge, Dkt. 7). This matter
has been fully briefed. See Dkts. 11, 12, 13.
considering and reviewing the record, the Court concludes
that the ALJ erred when he failed to consider properly
plaintiff's severe impairments of chronic pain and
diabetes at Step Two. The ALJ also erred in his assessment of
plaintiff's testimony when formulating the residual
functional capacity (“RFC”). Had the ALJ properly
considered plaintiff's severe impairments at Step Two and
properly incorporated them into his assessment of the RFC,
the RFC may have included additional limitations.
these errors are not harmless, this matter is reversed
pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) and
remanded to the Acting Commissioner for further consideration
consistent with this order.
ROBERT BRADFORD, JR., was born in 1962 and was 44 years old
on the alleged date of disability onset of April 12, 2006.
See AR. 232-40. Plaintiff completed the tenth grade
and has not obtained his GED. AR. 62. Plaintiff has some work
experience as a janitor, clay mixer, kitchen worker and
produce stock/floor worker. AR. 270-81.
to the ALJ, plaintiff has at least the severe impairments of
“degenerative disc disease, trochanteric bursitis,
status post femur fracture (with open reduction and internal
fixation), depressive disorder, and mild degenerative joint
disease of the knee (20 CFR 416.920(c)).” AR. 40.
time of the hearing, plaintiff was living with his
fiancée. AR. 62.
application for Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1382(a) (Title XVI) of the Social Security Act was denied
initially and following reconsideration. See AR. 92,
105. Plaintiff's requested hearing was held before
Administrative Law Judge S. Andrew Grace (“the
ALJ”) on February 5, 2014. See AR. 53-91. On
March 6, 2014, the ALJ issued a written decision in which the
ALJ concluded that plaintiff was not disabled pursuant to the
Social Security Act. See AR. 35-52.
plaintiff's Opening Brief, plaintiff raises the following
issues: (1) Did the ALJ err in determining that a job
plaintiff did in the past, that of office helper, actually
qualifies as past relevant work; (2) Is the job of office
helper beyond the abilities of an individual who is limited
to simple, routine, repetitive tasks consistent with
unskilled work; (3) Did the ALJ err at step 5 by identifying
the job of laundry worker as within the ability of the
claimant when it is a semi-skilled job, beyond the ability of
a person limited to unskilled jobs; and (4) Did the ALJ err
by failing to take into consideration the functional
limitations caused by the fact that plaintiff is an insulin
dependent diabetic and has other significant medical problems
that restricts his physical abilities to less than the light
exertional level. See Dkt. 11, p. 1.
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 ...