United States District Court, E.D. Washington
ANDREA R. C., Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
ORDER RULING ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY
SALVADOR MENDOZA, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court, without oral argument, are the parties'
cross-motions for summary judgment, ECF Nos. 11 & 19.
Plaintiff appeals the Administrative Law Judge's
(“ALJ”) denial of her application for
Supplemental Security Income. ECF No. 3. Plaintiff contends
the ALJ erred by (1) improperly discrediting Plaintiff's
symptom claims and (2) failing to properly consider and weigh
the opinion evidence. ECF No. 11 at 14-19. The Commissioner
of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”)
asks the Court to affirm the ALJ's decision. ECF No. 19.
reviewing the record and relevant legal authorities, the
Court is fully informed to make a decision prior to the
hearing date for the motions. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court affirms the ALJ's decision and therefore
denies Plaintiff's motion and grants the
applied for Supplemental Security Income on January 31, 2015.
AR259-67. Plaintiff alleged disability
beginning October 16, 2010. AR 259. The SSA denied
Plaintiff's claims initially and upon reconsideration,
and Plaintiff requested a hearing. AR 191-93. ALJ R. J. Payne
presided over hearings on February 14, 2017, AR 87-108, and
June 15, 2017, AR 109-53. The ALJ issued a decision
unfavorable to Plaintiff. AR 15-36. The SSA Appeals Council
denied Plaintiff's request for review. AR 1-4.
ALJ FINDINGS 
one, the ALJ found Plaintiff has not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since January 31, 2015. AR 20.
two, the ALJ found Plaintiff has the following
severe impairments: left foot bunion; low body mass index
possibly due to history of irritable bowel syndrome,
controlled by diet; exercise-induced asthma; major depressive
disorder; and generalized anxiety disorder. AR 20.
three, the ALJ found Plaintiff's impairments do
not meet or medically equal the severity of a listed
impairment. AR 23.
four, the ALJ found Plaintiff has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work with certain
limitations. AR 25. Specifically, the ALJ noted,
[Plaintiff] can lift no more than 20 pounds at a time
occasionally and lift or carry 10 pounds at a time
frequently. Sitting is unlimited but stand and walk is
limited to 4-6 hours in any combination in an 8-hour workday
with normal breaks. She can occasionally engage in
pushing/pulling of arm controls and foot controls with the
left foot within weight limits above. She can occasionally
climb ramps, stairs, ladders, and scaffolds, and only
frequently engage in stooping, crouching, kneeling, crawling,
and balancing. She should avoid concentrated exposure to
heavy industrial-type vibration which might affect the left
foot, pulmonary irritants, unprotected heights, and extreme
cold. She can understand, remember, and carry out simple
routine work instructions and work tasks and occasionally
more complex work instructions and work tasks. She can have
occasional contact with the general public and she can work
with or in the vicinity of coworkers but not in a
teamwork-type work setting. She can handle normal supervision
but no over-the-shoulder or confrontational type of
the ALJ found Plaintiff is unable to perform any past
relevant work. AR 30.
at step five, the ALJ found jobs exist in
significant numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff
can perform considering her age, education, work experience,
and residual functional capacity. AR 30. Accordingly, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff was not disabled, as defined by the
Social Security Act, since January 31, 2015. AR 31.