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Jackson v. Berryhill

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

July 6, 2018

GWENDOLYN LEE JACKSON, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner of Social Security for Operations, Defendant.

          ORDER AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONER'S FINAL DECISION AND DISMISSING THE CASE WITH PREJUDICE

          HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff, Gwendolyn Lee Jackson, seeks review of the denial of her application for Supplemental Security Income. Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, contends the ALJ erred by excluding a severe impairment, finding that she had refused treatment, and discounting her testimony that she cannot keep a regular schedule. Plaintiff's Opening Brief, Dkt. 14. As discussed below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is currently 54 years old, has at least a high school education, and has worked as a massage therapist. Tr. 24. She applied for benefits in October 2012, alleging disability as of December 1998. Tr. 14. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and on reconsideration. Id. After the ALJ conducted a hearing on March 5, 2015, the ALJ issued a decision finding plaintiff not disabled. Tr. 14-26.

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

         Using the five-step disability evaluation process described in 20 C.F.R. § 416.920, the ALJ found:

Step one: Plaintiff has not worked since the application date.
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, sleep disorder, thoracic and lumbar degenerative disc disease.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment as defined in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P. Appendix 1.
Residual Functional Capacity (RFC): Plaintiff can perform light work, further limited to unskilled repetitive routine tasks. She can occasionally have contact with the public, supervisors, and coworkers.
Step four: Plaintiff cannot perform past relevant work.
Step five: Because there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that plaintiff can perform, she is not disabled.

Tr. 16-26. The Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review, making the ALJ's decision the ...


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