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Fahtima R. v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

May 8, 2019

FAHTIMA R., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER REVERSING AND REMANDING FOR FURTHER ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS

          Marsha J. Pechman, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff seeks review of the denial of her application for Supplemental Security Income. Plaintiff contends the ALJ erred by discounting the medical opinion of Curtis G.G. Greenfield, Psy.D. Dkt. 7. As discussed below, the Court REVERSES the Commissioner's final decision and REMANDS the matter for further administrative proceedings under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is currently 49 years old, has a high school education, and has worked as a packager. Dkt. 5, Administrative Record (AR) 28. Plaintiff applied for benefits in May 2016. AR 89. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and on reconsideration. AR 88, 109. After the ALJ conducted a hearing in September 2017, the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. AR 35, 15-29.

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

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

Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the May 2016 application date.
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease with radiculopathy, status post cervical disc replacement; left foot abnormality, status post surgery; schizoaffective disorder, depressed type; and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment under 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can lift 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently and can stand/walk and sit six hours per day each. She can frequently climb ramps and stairs, balance, kneel, and crouch. She can occasionally crawl and can never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. She can frequently reach overhead with the right dominant arm, and occasionally tolerate extreme cold, heat, vibrations, and hazards. She can have occasional interaction with the public and can perform simple, routine, and repetitive tasks in an environment free of fast-paced production requirements, involving only simple work-related decisions and with few, if any, workplace changes.
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, she is not disabled.

AR 18-29. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's final decision. AR 1. The rest of the procedural history is not relevant ...


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