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Dickinson v. Berryhill

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

May 30, 2018

SALLY A. DICKINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner of Social Security for Operations, Defendant.

          ORDER REVERSING AND REMANDING THE CASE FOR FURTHER ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS

          Thomas S. Zilly United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Sally A. Dickinson seeks review of the denial of her application for Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance Benefits. She contends the ALJ erred in evaluating her testimony and the opinions of several doctors. Dkt. 9. 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).

         BACKGROUND

         Ms. Dickinson is currently 43 years old, has a limited education, and has worked as a janitor. Tr. 30-31. On September 17, 2013, she applied for benefits, alleging disability as of February 1, 2013. Tr. 16. Her applications were denied initially and on reconsideration. Id. After the ALJ conducted a hearing on December 15, 2015, the ALJ issued a decision finding Ms. Dickinson not disabled. Tr. 16-32.

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

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

Step one: Ms. Dickinson has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date of February 1, 2013.
Step two: She has the following severe impairments: obesity, status post right shoulder Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior (SLAP) tear and surgical repair, degenerative disc disease, asthma, arthritis, depression, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: She can perform light work, including lift/carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently, and sit/stand/walk 6 hours a day. Her right arm is limited to pushing/pulling frequently and reaching overhead occasionally. She can frequently climb ramps/stairs, but never ladders/scaffolds. She can balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl frequently. She is precluded from working around hazards, concentrated exposure to airborne irritants, extreme cold, and vibrations. She is limited to simple, routine, repetitive tasks and simple work-related decisions. She can interact with coworkers occasionally, and the public only incidentally such as passing people in hallways.
Step four: She cannot perform past relevant work.
Step five: As there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that she can perform, Ms. Dickinson is not disabled.

Tr. 18-32. The Appeals Council denied her request for review, making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's ...


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