United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONER'S FINAL DECISION
AND DISMISSING THE CASE WITH PREJUDICE
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge.
seeks review of the denial of her application for
Supplemental Security Income. Dkt. 16. As discussed below,
the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's
final decision and DISMISSES the case with
is currently 39 years old, has at least a high school
education, and has worked as a customer service clerk/stock
clerk and as a retail store manager. Dkt. 13, Admin. Record
(AR) 34. Plaintiff applied for benefits in May 2014, alleging
disability as of June 9, 2007. AR 97. Plaintiff's
application was denied initially and on reconsideration. AR
92, 107. After the ALJ conducted a hearing in September 2016,
the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. AR
the five-step disability evaluation process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since the May 2014 application
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe
impairments: radiculopathy, migraine headaches, and
Step three: Plaintiff's impairments do
not meet or equal the requirements of a listed
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can
perform light work, standing and walking two hours per day
and sitting six hours per day. She can lift, carry, push, or
pull 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. She can
frequently balance and can occasionally stoop, kneel, crouch,
crawl, and climb ladders, ropes, scaffolds, ramps, and
stairs. She can have no exposure to vibration, extreme cold
or heat, or concentrated airborne irritants. She can have
moderate exposure to noise.
Step four: Plaintiff cannot perform past
Step five: As there are jobs that exist in
significant numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff
can perform, she is not disabled.
27-36. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review, making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's
final decision. AR 7.
asks the Court to reverse the ALJ's decision. Dkt. 14.
The Court may reverse the ALJ's decision finding a person
not disabled “only if it is not supported by
substantial evidence or is based on legal error.”
Andrews v. Shalala, 53 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir.
1995). Substantial evidence means such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion. Id. The Court cannot make its own
findings, but must consider the entire record as a whole in
determining whether the Commissioner's conclusions have a
reasonable basis. Connett v. Barnhart, 340 F.3d 871,
874 (9th Cir. 2003); Robbins v. Soc. Sec. Admin.,
466 F.3d 880, 882 (9th Cir. 2006). Additionally, where a
party proceeds pro se, the Court must construe the
allegations of the pleading liberally and afford her the
benefit of any doubt. See Bretz v. Kelman, 773 F.2d
1026, 1027 n. 1 (9th Cir. 1985) (en banc). This Court may not
reverse an ALJ's decision because of an error that is
“harmless, ” i.e.,
“inconsequential to the ultimate disability
determination.” Molina v. Astrue, 674 F.3d
1104, 1117 (9th Cir. 2012).
found that Plaintiff's anxiety and depression were
nonsevere because Plaintiff improved with treatment. AR 27.
Plaintiff acknowledges that “depression … was
not something that prevented [her] from working.” Dkt.
16 at 15. She contends, ...