United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
MICHELLE L. PETERSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
seeks review of the denial of his applications for
Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance
Benefits. Plaintiff contends the administrative law judge
(“ALJ”) erred in discounting his testimony and
the opinion of Susie Ro, M.D. (Dkt. # 10 at 1.) The Court
notes that Plaintiff's briefs do not appear to comply
with the font requirements of Local Civil Rule 10(e), and
that Commissioner's brief also appears to have some
formatting irregularities, specifically condensed spacing.
Counsel is instructed to ensure compliance with these
requirements in future filings or they will be stricken.
discussed below, the Court recommends REVERSING the
Commissioner's final decision and REMANDING this case for
further administrative proceedings.
was born in 1969 and has completed the eighth grade and
earned a GED. He has previously worked as a retail cashier.
AR at 40, 89, 385. Plaintiff was last gainfully employed in
June 2012. Id. at 394.
September 2012 and December 2013, Plaintiff applied for
benefits, alleging disability as of June 11, 2012.
Id. at 333-34, 346-54. Plaintiff's applications
were denied initially and on reconsideration, and Plaintiff
requested a hearing. Id. at 175-77, 180-86. The ALJ
held a hearing in December 2013 (id. at 87-125), and
subsequently found Plaintiff not disabled. Id. at
151-68. Plaintiff requested Appeals Council review, and the
Appeals Council reversed the ALJ's decision and remanded
the case for additional administrative proceedings.
Id. at 171-74.
remand the ALJ conducted hearings in September and November
2016 (id. at 38-86), and subsequently issued a
decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. Id. at
the five-step disability evaluation process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the alleged onset date.
Step two: Plaintiff's degenerative disc disease of the
cervical spine, cervical dystonia with pain and headaches,
and obesity are severe impairments.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the
requirements of a listed impairment.
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can perform light
work with additional limitations: he is limited to carrying
10 pounds occasionally and frequently. He can stand and/or
walk for a total of four hours in an eight-hour workday (with
normal breaks). He can sit for a total of six hours in an
eight-hour workday (with normal breaks). He can occasionally
push and/or pull, including operation of hand and/or foot
controls. He can occasionally climb ramps and stairs. He can
occasionally kneel, crouch, and crawl. He cannot climb
ladders, ropes, scaffolds. He can occasionally reach overhead
bilaterally. He should be allowed to shift postural positions
periodically during a two-hour period for a couple of minutes
(which can be accomplished by any task that the worker can
perform either sitting or standing for a couple of minutes,
such as answering a phone or getting work supplies, or if the
job has a sit/stand option). Work tasks should not require
the claimant to rapidly turn his head right or left.
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.
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review,
the ALJ's decision is the Commissioner's final
decision. Id. at 1-6. Plaintiff appealed the ...