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Haddix v. Berryhill

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

July 23, 2018

VERNON HADDIX, 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

          The Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, Vernon Haddix, seeks review of the denial of his application for Supplemental Security Income. Plaintiff contends the ALJ erred in evaluating medical opinions and his testimony. Dkt. 9. As discussed below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is currently 51 years old, has a high school education, and has worked as a social services aide and telephone solicitor. Tr. 21. Plaintiff's first application for SSI benefits was denied in a December 2012 decision. Tr. 14. This case concerns plaintiff's second application for disability benefits, filed September 2014. Id. After a hearing in August 2016, the ALJ issued a decision finding plaintiff had rebutted the presumption of continuing nondisability by alleging worsening impairments, but also finding that he was not disabled. Tr. 14-22 (citing Chavez v. Bowen, 844 F.2d 691, 693 (9th Cir. 1988).

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

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

Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the September 2014 application date.
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and personality disorder.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can perform work at all exertional levels. He can understand, remember, and carry out simple work tasks. He should not have contact with the general public. He can have occasional and superficial contact with coworkers. He should work independently, without team or tandem tasks. He requires a routine and predictable work environment.
Step four: Plaintiff cannot perform past relevant work.
Step five: As there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that plaintiff can perform, he is not disabled.

Tr. 16-22. The Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review, making the ALJ's decision the ...


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