United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ROGER A. FRIEDRICHSEN, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner of Social Security for Operations, Defendant.
ORDER REVERSING THE COMMISSIONER AND REMANDING FOR
A. TSUCHIDA CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Roger A. Friedrichsen appeals the ALJ's decision finding
him not disabled. The parties agrees the ALJ's decision
should be reversed, but disagree on whether the Court should
remand for further proceedings or for a finding of
disability. Dkt. 13, 18. 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.
is currently 56 years old; has a high school diploma and some
college education, plus additional training in operating
heavy equipment; and has worked as an appraiser's
assistant, automotive mechanic, and HVAC installer. Tr.
72-73, 215, 237-41. In August 2014, he protectively applied
for benefits, alleging disability as of December 1, 2012. Tr.
105, 190-96. His application was denied initially and on
reconsideration. Tr. 128-34, 136-40. The ALJ conducted a
hearing on June 24, 2016 (Tr. 63-104), and subsequently found
plaintiff not disabled. Tr. 34-44. As the Appeals Council
denied plaintiff 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: Plaintiff did not engage in
substantial gainful activity between his alleged onset date
and his date last insured (“DLI”), June 30, 2013.
Step two: Plaintiff's obesity, bilateral
hand osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and cervical
degenerative disc disease were severe impairments through the
Step three: Through the DLI, these
impairments did not meet or equal the requirements of a
Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”): Through the DLI, plaintiff
could perform light work with additional limitations: he
could only frequently push/pull with his upper extremities.
He could frequently climb ramps and stairs and only
occasionally climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. He could
frequently balance, stoop, and crouch, but could only
occasionally crawl. He could only occasionally perform
overhead reaching bilaterally. He could frequently handle and
finger with his right upper extremity. He could not be
exposed to vibrations or hazards such as moving mechanical
parts or unprotected heights.
Step four: Through the DLI, plaintiff could
perform his past work as an appraiser assistant.
Step five: Alternatively, plaintiff can
perform other jobs that exist in significant numbers in the