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O'Ryan v. Berryhill

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

March 7, 2018

ZOWDI GENET O'RYAN, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER REVERSING THE COMMISSIONER AND REMANDING FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS

          A ROBERT S. LASNIK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Zowdie Genet O'Ryan appeals the decision of the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) finding her not disabled. She contends the ALJ's residual functional capacity (“RFC”) determination fails to account for all limitations assessed by Shelly K. Woodward, Ph.D., and that the ALJ erroneously rejected Ms. O'Ryan's testimony. She also contends that the case should be remanded to consider new and material evidence. Dkt. 9 at 1-2. For the reasons below, the Court REVERSES the Commissioner's final decision and REMANDS the matter for further administrative proceedings under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

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

Step one: Ms. O'Ryan has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 4,
Step two: Ms. O'Ryan has the following severe impairments: major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Ms. O'Ryan can perform the full range of work at all exertional levels except she can perform unskilled work with occasional interaction with coworkers and supervisors but no interaction with the general public. She can adapt to routine work changes.
Step four: Ms. O'Ryan has no past relevant work.
Step five: Ms. Ryan can perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy and is not disabled.

Tr. 17-22. The ALJ's decision is the Commissioner's final decision because the Appeals Council denied review. Tr.1.[3]

         DISCUSSION

         A. Dr. Woodward's Opinions

         Ms. O'Ryan contends the ALJ's RFC determination erroneously fails to account for all limitations assessed by Shelly K. Woodward, Ph.D. ...


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