United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER REVERSING THE COMMISSIONER'S FINAL DECISION
AND REMANDING FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
A. TSUCHIDA, CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Ronald Roy Huhn, Jr., seeks review of the denial of his
application for Disability Insurance Benefits. He contends
the ALJ erred by (1) excluding cervical
torticollis at step two, (2) rejecting Mr. Huhn's
testimony about medication side effects, and (3) discounting
opinions describing limitations caused by Mr. Huhn's
bipolar disorder. Dkt. 11 at 1. 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.
Huhn is currently 54 years old, has two years of college
education, and has worked as a truck mechanic. Tr. 279-80. On
July 28, 2014, he protectively applied for benefits, alleging
disability as of January 1, 2003. Tr. 201-07. His application
was denied initially and on reconsideration. Tr. 120-22,
124-25. The ALJ conducted a hearing on August 23, 2016 (Tr.
47-76), and subsequently found Mr. Huhn not disabled. Tr.
19-32. As the Appeals Council denied Mr. Huhn's request
for review, the ALJ's decision is the Commissioner's
final decision. Tr. 1-6.
the five-step disability evaluation process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Mr. Huhn had not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since October 25, 2012.
Step two: Mr. Huhn's status post right
rotator cuff repair; affective disorders variously diagnosed
as bipolar, mood, and depressive disorders; anxiety disorders
variously diagnosed as anxiety and agoraphobia; insomnia; and
alcohol abuse, in remission, are severe impairments.
Step three: These impairments did not meet
or equal the requirements of a listed
Residual Functional Capacity: Mr. Huhn can
perform light work with additional limitations: he can
lift/carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently.
He can sit for six hours and stand/walk for six hours in an
eight-hour workday. He can perform postural activities on an
unlimited basis except that he can never climb ladders,
ropes, or scaffolds. He can frequently reach overhead with
his right upper extremity. He must avoid concentrated
exposure to hazards such as heights and dangerous moving
machinery. He has sufficient concentration to understand,
remember, and carry out simple, routine tasks. He can
maintain concentration and pace in two-hour increments for
simple, routine tasks with usual and customary breaks
throughout an eight-hour workday. He can work superficially
and occasionally with the general public (with
“superficial” meaning he can refer the public to
others to resolve their demands/requests, but that he does
not have to resolve those demands/requests).
Step four: Mr. Huhn cannot perform his past
Step five: As there are jobs that exist in
significant numbers in the national economy that Mr. Huhn can
perform, he is not disabled.