United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER REVERSING THE COMMISSIONER AND REMANDING FOR
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
M. Holtz appeals the ALJ's decision finding him not
disabled. Dkt. 3. He contends the ALJ erroneously rejected
the opinions of Leslie Carter, Ph.D., and Sylvia Thorpe,
Ph.D., and that the Court should remand the case for an award
of benefits, or alternatively for further proceedings. Dkt. 9
at 2, 4, 11. For the reasons below, the Court finds the ALJ
harmfully erred and REVERSES the
Commissioner's final decision and
REMANDS the case for further administrative
proceedings under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
HISTORY AND ALJ'S DECISION
Holtz applied for benefits in 2013 alleging disability
beginning August 2007. Tr. 20. The ALJ found the relevant
period in this case begins on December 28, 2012,
id., a finding the parties do not contest. After
conducting a hearing, the ALJ issued a decision in which he
made the following sequential disability determination
Step one: Mr. Holtz has not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since August 1, 2007.
Step two: Anxiety disorder, depressive
disorder, history of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD), and artistic spectrum disorder are severe
Step three: These impairments do not meet or
equal the requirements of a listed impairment.
Residual Functional Capacity: Mr. Holtz can
perform the full range of work at all exertional levels with
the following nonexertional limitations: he can attend to and
concentrate on simple routine tasks in two hour increments;
he can have incidental contact with the public, is capable of
working in proximity to, but not in coordination with,
co-workers, and can have occasional contact with supervisor;
he will be off task at work 9% of the time but can still meet
minimum production requirements..
Step four: Mr. Holtz cannot perform past
Step five: Mr. Holtz can perform other jobs
in the national economy and is not disabled.
22-31. The Appeals Council denied review making the ALJ's
decision the final decision of the Commissioner. AR 1.
The ALJ's Evaluation of the Opinions of Leslie Carter,
Young contends the ALJ erroneously rejected Dr. Carter's
opinions about the severity of his limitations. Dkt. 9 at 4.
Dr. Carter evaluated Mr. Holtz in July 2013. Tr. 445-55. The
doctor performed a clinical examination, reviewed medical
documentation that Mr. Holtz's parents provided,
interviewed Mr. Holtz's parents, and administered the
following tests: the RAADS-R, the Millon Clinical Mutiaxial
Inventory-III (MCMI-III), and the Adaptive Behavior
Assessment (ABAS-II). Id. Dr. Carter diagnosed Mr.
Holtz with ...