United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
MARGARET L. P., Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
ORDER REVERSING AND REMANDING FOR FURTHER
MICHELLE L. PETERSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
seeks review of the denial of her application for Disability
Insurance Benefits. Plaintiff contends the administrative law
judge (“ALJ”) erred by improperly evaluating the
medical evidence; rejecting Plaintiff's testimony; and
assessing Plaintiff's residual functional capacity
(“RFC”). (Dkt. # 11.) 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).
was born in 1977, has a high school education as well as
beautician training, and has worked as a hairdresser. AR at
756, 780. Plaintiff was last gainfully employed at a salon in
2010. Id. at 43, 46.
January 2012, Plaintiff applied for benefits, alleging
disability as of December 30, 2009. AR at 22. Plaintiff's
applications were denied initially and on reconsideration,
and Plaintiff requested a hearing. Id. at 67-81.
During her first administrative hearing, Plaintiff amended
her alleged onset date to February 23, 2009. Id. at
22, 40-41, 257. Her date last insured is December 21, 2009.
Id. at 750. The ALJ conducted a hearing on September
12, 2013 (AR at 39-66), and subsequently issued a decision
finding that Plaintiff was not disabled. Id. at
16-37. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review, and Plaintiff appealed to this Court. Id.at
Order dated July 27, 2016, the Honorable Ricardo S. Martinez
reversed and remanded the case for further administrative
proceedings. AR at 795-811. Specifically, Judge Martinez
directed that the ALJ reevaluate Plaintiff's credibility,
reassess and determine the RFC, and reevaluate steps four and
five. Id. at 810.
second hearing was held on March 1, 2017. AR at 764-85. On
March 22, 2017, the ALJ found that Plaintiff was not
the five-step disability evaluation process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity during the period from her alleged onset date of
February 23, 2009 through her date last insured of December
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments:
degenerative disc disease and compression fracture of the
spine, headaches, and lymphoma.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the
requirements of a listed impairment.
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can perform light
work except she can stand and walk for four hours in an
eight-hour day; sit for six hours in an eight hour day; never
climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds, occasionally climb ramps
and stairs, and occasionally stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl.
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,
Plaintiff is not disabled.
AR at 744-62.
Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review,
the ALJ's decision is the Commissioner's final
decision. AR at 738-42. Plaintiff appealed the final ...