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Strasburg v. Berryhill

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

February 27, 2018

CAROLYN M. STRASBURG, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONER AND DISMISSING THE CASE

          Ronald B. Leighton United States District Judge.

         Carolyn M. Strasbourg appeals the ALJ's decision finding her not disabled. She contends the ALJ misevaluated the medical evidence and her testimony and that the Court should remand the matter for an award of benefits or for further proceedings. For the reasons below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

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

Step one: Ms. Strasbourg has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since March 31, 2013.
Step two: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and alcohol dependence are severe impairments.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Ms. Strasbourg can perform the full range of work at all exertional levels subject to several non-exertional or mental limitations.
Step four: Ms. Strasbourg cannot perform past relevant work.
Step five: As there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that Ms. Strasbourg can perform, she is not disabled.

Tr. 27-38. The Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's final decision. Tr. 1.[3]

         DISCUSSION

         A. The ALJ's Evaluation of the Medical Evidence

         Ms. Strasbourg contends the ALJ failed to consider the record as a whole. Dkt. 13 at 4. There is no indication the ALJ failed to do so and the Court rejects this unfounded contention. Ms. Strasbourg also suggests the ALJ impermissibly focused on certain portions of the evidence. Id. at 5. She provides nothing in support other than arguing the ALJ erroneously rejected the opinions of three doctors and her testimony. The ALJ is responsible for determining credibility, resolving conflicts in medical testimony, and resolving all other ambiguities. Andrews v. Shalala, 53 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 1995). This is what the ALJ properly did here in giving some evidence more weight and some ...


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