United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER REVERSING THE COMMISSIONER'S DECISION AND
REMANDING THE CASE
A. TSUCHIDA, CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
seeks review of the denial of his application for Disability
Insurance Benefits. He contends the ALJ erred in discounting
his testimony; discounting the opinion of examining
psychologist Philip Gibson, Ph.D.; discounting the disability
rating rendered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
(“VA”); and discounting a statement written by
his wife. Dkt. 12 at 2. 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.
is currently 44 years old; has a GED and one year of college
education, as well as training in computerized accounting;
and has worked as a newspaper delivery driver, retail
inventory clerk, and retail electronics sales associate. Tr.
55, 95, 311, 340. In November 2015, he applied for benefits,
alleging disability as of July 3, 2014. Tr. 279-82. His
application was denied initially and on reconsideration. Tr.
175-77, 185-90. The ALJ conducted hearings in October 2016
and September 2017 (Tr. 41-130), and subsequently found
Plaintiff not disabled. Tr. 21-34. As the Appeals Council
denied Plaintiff's request for review, the ALJ's
decision is the Commissioner's final decision. Tr. 1-6.
the five-step disability evaluation process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Plaintiff had not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date.
Step two: Plaintiff's lumbar spine
degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, and seizure disorder
are severe impairments.
Step three: These impairments did not meet
or equal the requirements of a listed
RFC: Plaintiff can perform light work with
additional limitations: he cannot climb ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds. He cannot tolerate exposure to hazards in the
workplace, such as moving machinery and unprotected heights.
He cannot drive commercially. He can occasionally crawl. He
can tolerate occasional exposure to vibration and
Step four: Plaintiff can perform his past
work as a retail sales clerk, and is therefore not disabled.