United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
MICHELLE L. PETERSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
seeks review of the denial of her applications for
Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance
Benefits. Plaintiff contends the administrative law judge
(“ALJ”) erred by denying Plaintiff's request
to cross-examine the State agency medical consultants;
rejecting the medical opinions of examining psychologists Dr.
Wheeler and Dr. Krueger; failing to identify Plaintiff's
panic disorder as a severe impairment at step two; and
discounting Plaintiff's testimony about the severity of
her symptoms. (Dkt. # 10 at 1.) As discussed below, the Court
recommends that the Commissioner's final decision be
REVERSED and the case REMANDED for further administrative
proceedings under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
was born in 1982 and earned an Associate in Technical Arts
degree over the course of four years. AR at 84. She has
worked full-time at Wal-Mart in the past as an overnight
merchandise stocker. AR at 80, 83. Plaintiff was last
gainfully employed in 2010. AR at 83.
February 5, 2015, Plaintiff applied for benefits, alleging
disability as of September 29, 2014. AR at 24, 26, 237-45.
Her date last insured on her Title II application was March
31, 2017. AR at 26. Plaintiff's applications were denied
initially and on reconsideration, and Plaintiff requested a
hearing. AR at 24. After the ALJ conducted a hearing on
February 8, 2017, the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff
not disabled. AR at 21-43.
the five-step disability evaluation process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since September 29, 2014, the alleged onset date.
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments:
diabetes mellitus, asthma, affective disorder, anxiety
disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the
requirements of a listed impairment.
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can perform light
work, defined as work that involves lifting and carrying 20
pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently and standing
and/or walking for up to 6 hours in an 8-hour workday. She is
unable to work in an occupation that involves fast-paced
production demands, such as a rigid quota system. She cannot
work in a dangerous industrial setting, performing commercial
driving, or working at unprotected heights. She is unable to
operate foot controls and must not be exposed to temperature
or humidity extremes, due to asthma. The claimant requires a
regular work schedule with a lunch period to accommodate a
diabetic regimen. She is able to tolerate no more than
routine, perfunctory social interactions and cannot travel to
unfamiliar local places more than once in a while. She
retains previously learned information but regarding learning
new material, she is limited to learning simple to moderately
detailed information or not more than 5-6 steps. The claimant
requires a bathroom on set for use during regularly scheduled
breaks. She is capable of working independently, with no more
than occasional interaction with supervisors.
Step four: Plaintiff does not have past relevant work.
Step five: As there are jobs that exist in significant
numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff can perform,
Plaintiff is not disabled.
AR at 21-43.
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review,
the ALJ's decision is the Commissioner's final
decision. AR at 1-5. Plaintiff appealed the final decision of
the Commissioner to this Court. (Dkt. # 4.)