United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONER AND DISMISSING THE
A. TSUCHIDA CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Michelle Salise Ford appeals the ALJ's decision finding
her disabled as of January 2, 2016, but not disabled between
March 26, 2011, and January 1, 2016. She contends the ALJ
erred in (1) finding at step three she did not meet or equal
Listings 1.02 or 1.03, (2) assessing certain medical opinion
evidence, (3) discounting her testimony, and (4) entering
findings at step five. Dkt. 10 at 2. The Court
AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final
decision and DISMISSES the case with
has an eleventh-grade education and certified nurse assistant
(“CNA”) training, and has worked as a CNA, cook,
painter, temporary laborer, and elections administration
specialist. Tr. 323, 653, 660. At the time of the most recent
administrative hearing, plaintiff was working part-time for
FedEx labeling and scanning packages. Tr. 350. In May 2011
and August 2012, she applied for benefits, alleging
disability as of June 15, 2010. Tr. 607-10, 613-18. Her
applications were denied initially and on reconsideration.
Tr. 471-88. The ALJ conducted a hearing on October 2, 2014
(Tr. 307-43), and subsequently found plaintiff not disabled
before November 1, 2012, but disabled thereafter. Tr. 443-55.
The Appeals Council granted plaintiff's request for
review and reversed the entire ALJ decision, remanding for a
new hearing and consideration of new evidence as well as
reconsideration of plaintiff's mental impairments and
RFC. Tr. 462-63.
different ALJ held a hearing on November 8, 2016 (Tr.
344-66), and subsequently found plaintiff not disabled before
January 2, 2016, but disabled thereafter. Tr. 221-38. The
Appeals Council denied review making the ALJ's decision
is the Commissioner's final decision. Tr. 2-8.
the five-step disability evaluation process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Plaintiff worked since her alleged
onset date, but this work did not rise to the level of
substantial gainful activity.
Step two: Ms. Ford's history of
pulmonary embolism, history of plantar fascia release,
history of renal insufficiency, status post bilateral
shoulder surgeries, mild carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical
degenerative disc disease, mild lumbar facet arthrosis,
status post reattachment of Achilles tendon and
retrocalcaneal exostectomy in the right foot, mild
degenerative joint disease in left foot, status post
bunionectomy and removal of soft tissue in the right foot,
mild degenerative changes in the left hip, depression, panic
disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and psychosis were
Step three: These impairments did not meet
or equal the requirements of a listed
RFC: Plaintiff can perform sedentary work,
with additional limitations. She cannot climb ropes, ladders,
and scaffolds. She cannot climb stairs, crouch, crawl, and
kneel. She can occasionally stoop. She can frequently handle
and finger. She must avoid concentrated exposure to extreme
cold. She can understand, remember, and carry out simple and
routine tasks. She can perform unskilled jobs that do not
require fast paced (i.e. belt paced) production. She can have
superficial contact with the general public and work with
small groups. She can interact with co-workers and
supervisors to complete tasks.
Step four: Plaintiff cannot perform her past
Step five: Beginning on January 2, 2016,
Plaintiff was disabled under the Medical-Vocational Rules.
Before that date, there were jobs that exist in significant
numbers in the national economy that plaintiff could perform,
and she was therefore not disabled during that time period.