United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
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 discounting her subjective
allegations and failing to recontact certain medical sources
to clarify their opinions. (Dkt. # 17 at 1.) As discussed
below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final
decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.
was born in 1951, has a college degree, and has worked as a
chemical dependency counselor, chemical dependency
instructor, crisis interventionist, police dispatcher, and
mental health case manager. AR at 280. Plaintiff was last
gainfully employed in January 2015. Id.
February 2015, Plaintiff protectively applied for benefits,
alleging disability as of January 23, 2015. AR at 254-60.
Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and on
reconsideration, and Plaintiff requested a hearing.
Id. at 185-87, 192-200. After the ALJ conducted a
hearing on April 25, 2017 (id. at 84-151), the ALJ
issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled.
Id. at 21-33.
the five-step disability evaluation process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity during the period between her alleged onset date
(January 23, 2015) through her date last insured
(“DLI”) of September 30, 2017.
Step two: Through the DLI, Plaintiff's cervical spine
degenerative disc/joint disease, lumbar spine degenerative
disc/joint disease, and spondylolisthesis were severe
Step three: These impairments did not meet or equal the
requirements of a listed impairment through the
Residual Functional Capacity: Through the DLI, Plaintiff
could perform sedentary work with additional limitations: she
could never climb ladders/ropes/scaffolds and could only
occasionally climb ramps/stairs. She could occasionally
balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. She was limited to
only occasional exposure to vibration and extreme cold
temperatures. She was limited to only occasional operation of
foot controls bilaterally.
Step four: Through the DLI, Plaintiff could perform her past
relevant work as a substance abuse counselor and caseworker.
Id. at 21-33.
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review,
the ALJ's decision is the Commissioner's final
decision. AR at 1-6. Plaintiff appealed the ...