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Williams v. Berryhill

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

March 7, 2018

MICHAEL WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Defendant.

          ORDER AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONER AND DISMISSING THE CASE

          JAMES L. ROBART, United States District Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Michael Williams seeks review of the denial of his applications for Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance Benefits. He contends the ALJ erred by rejecting Katherine Bumstead's, M.D., opinions and his testimony, and by giving great weight to the opinions of a non-examining doctor. (PL Br. (Dkt. # 9) at 2, 8.) He further contends these errors harmfully affected the RFC determination and step-five findings. As relief, Mr. Williams moves the court to remand the case for payment of benefits. (Id. at 15.) For the reasons below, the court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice. //

         II. THE ALJ'S DECISION

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

Step one: Mr. Williams has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since March 27, 2013.
Step two: Depression, right hip fracture, status post open reduction internal fixation; right hip degenerative joint disease; diabetes mellitus; right shoulder degenerative joint disease; right knee chondromalacia; and osteoarthritis of the hand and wrist are severe impairments:.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Mr. Williams can perform less than the full range of light work. He can lift no greater than 20 pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of 10 pounds. He can stand and/or walk 6 hours in an 8-hour workday and sit 6 hours in an 8-hour workday. The claimant can push and/or pull with the upper extremities an unlimited amount within the lifting restrictions described above. The claimant can perform jobs that never require him to climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. He can occasionally crouch, kneel, crawl, and climb ramps or stairs. The claimant can occasionally reach overhead with the right upper extremity. He can frequently handle and finger with bilateral upper extremities. The claimant can have superficial interaction with the public, coworkers, and supervisors. He can accept reasonable supervision.
Step four: Mr. Williams cannot perform past relevant work.
Step five: Mr. Williams can perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy and is not disabled.

(ALJ Dec. (Dkt. # 7-2) at 17-38.)[3] The ALJ's decision is the Commissioner's final decision because the Appeals Council denied review. (Id. at l.)[4]

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. The ALJ's Evaluation of Dr. ...


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