United States District Court, W.D. Washington
CHARQUELLA D. GARDNER, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration for Operations, Defendant.
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT
Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge.
Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c),
Fed.R.Civ.P. 73 and Local Magistrate Judge Rule MJR 13
(see also Consent to Proceed Before a United States
Magistrate Judge, Dkt. 2). This matter has been fully
briefed. See Dkt. 12, 15, 16.
considering and reviewing the record, the Court concludes
that the ALJ erred when evaluating the medical evidence:
although the ALJ gave “great weight" to the
opinion from a particular examining psychologist, the ALJ
failed to acknowledge, or explain why she did not credit
fully, the opinion from this doctor that plaintiff
potentially suffered from a disabling limitation and that she
needed to be properly encouraged and taught before she could
develop the ability to maintain employment. Therefore, this
matter is reversed and remanded to the Acting Commissioner
for further consideration consistent with this order.
CHARQUELLA D. GARDNER, was born in 1993 and was 19 years old
on the alleged date of disability onset of August 1, 2012.
See AR. 15, 281-89. Plaintiff obtained her diploma
after getting her final credit at a community college. AR.
40. Plaintiff has some work history in fast food restaurants,
as a cashier and running carnival rides. AR. 421-25.
Plaintiff was last employed housekeeping, but was fired for
not showing up and getting into an argument with the
supervisor. AR. 41-42.
to the ALJ, plaintiff has at least the severe impairments of
“learning disorder NOS, borderline intellectual
functioning, affective disorder, and anxiety-related disorder
(20 CFR 416.920(c)).” AR. 17.
time of the hearing, plaintiff was living in an apartment
with her disabled mother. AR. 40-41.
application for Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1382(a) (Title XVI) of the Social Security Act was denied
initially and following reconsideration. See AR.
87-98, 100-113. Plaintiff's requested hearing was held
before Administrative Law Judge Irene Sloan (“the
ALJ”) on February 10, 2016. See AR. 35-63. On
March 18, 2016, the ALJ issued a written decision in which
the ALJ concluded that plaintiff was not disabled pursuant to
the Social Security Act. See AR. 12-34.
plaintiff's Opening Brief, plaintiff raises the following
issues: (1) Whether the ALJ erred in failing to properly
consider the opinions of the examining providers in the
record and in failing to provide adequate explanation for not
according those opinions more weight; and (2) Whether the
ALJ's adopted residual functional capacity, finding that
the plaintiff is capable of work that is simple with no
limits on interactions with supervisors and coworkers, is
supported by substantial evidence in the record. See
Dkt. 12, p. 2.
to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court may set aside the
Commissioner's denial of social security benefits if the
ALJ's findings are based on legal error or not supported
by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. Bayliss
v. Barnhart, 427 F.3d 1211, 1214 n.1 (9th Cir. 2005)
(citing Tidwell v. Apfel, 161 F.3d 599, 601 (9th
Whether the ALJ erred in failing to properly consider
the opinions of the ...