United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
MICHELLE L. PETERSON United States Magistrate Judge.
seeks review of the denial of his application for Disability
Insurance Benefits. Plaintiff contends the administrative law
judge (“ALJ”) erred by rejecting the medical
opinions of State agency physicians Guillermo Rubio, M.D. and
Robert Hander, M.D., as well as the opinion of occupational
therapist Christina Casady, OTR. (Dkt. # 8 at 1.) 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.
was born in 1965, has a high school education and
approximately two years of college. AR at 36. He worked as a
pump station operator for fifteen years. Id. at 53.
Plaintiff was last gainfully employed in 2015. Id.
April 6, 2016, Plaintiff applied for benefits, alleging
disability as of September 30, 2015. AR at 34. Plaintiff's
application was denied initially and on reconsideration, and
Plaintiff requested a hearing. Id. at 15. After the
ALJ conducted a hearing on January 23, 2018, the ALJ issued a
decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. Id. at
Utilizing the five-step disability evaluation process,
Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since September 30, 2015, the alleged onset date.
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments:
sarcoidosis, fibromyalgia, depression, and generalized
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the
requirements of a listed impairment.
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can perform
“light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. 404.1567(b)”
except he can occasionally climb ramps and stairs, but should
never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; he can occasionally
stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl; he can have occasional
exposure to fumes, odors, dusts, gases, and poor ventilation;
he can have occasional exposure to extreme cold, extreme
heat, vibrations, and hazards such as heights and machinery;
he should work in an environment free of fast-paced
production requirements, with only occasional workplace
changes, only occasional interaction with the public, and
only occasional supervision.
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,