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Boothe v. Berryhill

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

February 27, 2018

NIKKITTA CAROL ANN BOOTHE, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONER AND DISMISSING THE CASE

          ROBERT S. LASNIK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Nikkitta Carol Anne Boothe appeals the decision of the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) finding her not disabled. Ms. Boothe contends the ALJ erroneously (1) found migraines, seizures, and sleeping spells are not severe impairments, and (2) discounted the opinions of Alysa Ruddell, Ph.D., and Alicia Grattan, M.D. Dkt. 8. For the reasons below, the Court rejects the arguments, 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. Boothe has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January 1, 2011.
Step two: Ms. Boothe has the following severe impairments: posttraumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), depressive disorder, and fibromyalgia are severe impairments.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Ms. Boothe can perform light work with additional physical, environmental, and mental limitations.
Step four: Ms. Boothe has no past relevant work.
Step five: Ms. Boothe can perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy and is thus not disabled.

Tr. 18-40. The ALJ's decision is the Commissioner's final decision because the Appeals Council denied Ms. Boothe's request for review. Tr. 1.[3]

         DISCUSSION

         A. The ALJ's Step Two Findings

         Ms. Boothe contends the ALJ, at step two, erroneously found migraines, seizures and sleeping spells are not severe impairments. Dkt. 8 at 6-7. Ms. Boothe bears the burden at step two to establish (1) she has a medically determinable impairment or combination of impairments; (2) the impairment or combination of impairments is severe, i.e., the impairment significantly limits a claimant's physical or mental ability to do basic work activities, 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(c), 404.1521(a); and (3) the impairment lasted at ...


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