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Stewart v. Berryhill

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

November 13, 2017

ANDRE DAVID STEWART, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER

          HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Andre David Stewart seeks review of the Commissioner's denial of his application for Supplemental Security Income. He contends the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) erred by discounting portions of the State agency psychological consultants' opinions. Dkt. 7. As discussed below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision.

         BACKGROUND

         Mr. Stewart is currently 25 years old, has a ninth-grade education, and previously performed seasonal work in a warehouse. Tr. 36, 42-45. In May 2013, he protectively applied for benefits, alleging disability as of September 1, 1998. Tr. 54, 150-55. His application was denied initially and on reconsideration. Tr. 81-84, 89-90. The ALJ conducted a hearing on February 24, 2015 (Tr. 30-53), and subsequently found Mr. Stewart not disabled. Tr. 13-25. As the Appeals Council denied Mr. Stewart's request for review, the ALJ's decision is the Commissioner's final decision. Tr. 1-6.

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

         Utilizing the five-step disability evaluation process, [1] the ALJ found:

Step one: Mr. Stewart did not engage in substantial gainful activity after he applied for benefits.
Step two: Mr. Stewart's learning disorder, dysthymic disorder, and mood disorder are severe impairments.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”): Mr. Stewart can perform a full range of work at all exertional levels, but is limited to performing simple, routine tasks with no more than three steps. He cannot work with the public, but can have superficial contact with co-workers.
Step four: Mr. Stewart is unable to perform past relevant work.
Step five: Because Mr. Stewart can perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy, he is not disabled.

Tr. ...


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