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Linda K. v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

June 24, 2019

LINDA K., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          MICHELLE L. PETERSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff seeks review of the denial of her application for Disability Insurance Benefits. Plaintiff contends the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) erred by crediting certain evidence that predates her alleged disability onset. (Dkt. # 13 at 1.) Plaintiff also contends that evidence submitted for the first time to the Appeals Council undermines the ALJ's decision. (Id.) As discussed below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff was born in 1964, has a tenth-grade education, and has worked as a stitcher, woodworker, waiter/cook, and caregiver. AR at 208, 311, 309. Plaintiff was last gainfully employed in July 2015. Id. at 209.

         In September 2015, Plaintiff applied for benefits, alleging disability as of July 8, 2015. AR at 285-89. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and on reconsideration, and Plaintiff requested a hearing. Id. at 255-57, 259-63. After the ALJ conducted a hearing on October 5, 2017 (id. at 199-229), the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. Id. at 184-94.

         Utilizing the five-step disability evaluation process, [1] the ALJ found:

Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 8, 2015, the alleged onset date.
Step two: Plaintiff's degenerative disc disease of the lumbar and cervical spine, sacroiliitis, and status post tenosynovectomy bilaterally for diagnoses of tenosynovitis are severe impairments.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can perform light work with additional limitations: she can occasionally climb ramps and stairs, but cannot climb ropes, ladders, or scaffolds. She can occasionally stoop and crouch, but can never crawl. She can frequently but not constantly handle bilaterally. She can occasionally reach overhead bilaterally.
Step four: Plaintiff can perform past relevant work as a deli preparer/food sales clerk.
Step five: In the alternative, there are other jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff can perform. ...

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