United States District Court, W.D. Washington
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge
Cynthia Louise Hoyer seeks review of the Commissioner's
denial of her application for Supplemental Security Income.
She contends the administrative law judge (“ALJ”)
erred by discounting certain opinion evidence and her
subjective testimony. Dkt. 10. As discussed below, the Court
REVERSES the Commissioner's final
decision and REMANDS for additional
Hoyer is currently 53 years old, has a high school diploma,
and previously worked as housekeeper and sandwich maker. Tr.
64-66, 236. In September 2013, she applied for benefits,
alleging disability as of August 1, 2008. Tr. 210-15. Her
application was denied initially and on reconsideration. Tr.
140-48, 152-56. The ALJ conducted a hearing on March 25, 2015
(Tr. 58-79), and subsequently found Ms. Hoyer not disabled.
Tr. 10-23. As the Appeals Council denied Ms. Hoyer's
request for review, the ALJ's decision is the
Commissioner's final decision. Tr. 1-4.
the five-step disability evaluation process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Ms. Hoyer did not engage in
substantial gainful activity after she applied for benefits.
Step two: Ms. Hoyer's degenerative disc
disease of the lumbar spine, depression, anxiety,
posttraumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”),
borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive
disorder, and substance abuse are severe impairments.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or
equal the requirements of a listed impairment.
Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”): Ms. Hoyer can perform less than
a full range of light work, with the following additional
limitations: she can perform simple, routine tasks with
short, simple instructions. She can do work that requires
little or no judgment. She can perform simple duties that can
be learned on the job in less than 30 days. She can respond
appropriately to supervision and co-workers, and deal with
occasional changes in the work environment. She can do work
that requires only occasional exposure to or interaction with
Step four: Ms. Hoyer can perform her past
work as a housekeeper, and is therefore not disabled.