United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER REVERSING AND REMANDING DENIAL OF
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Supplemental Security Income Plaintiff's:
at the time of alleged disability onset.
Disabilities Alleged by Plaintiff: Congestive heart failure,
depression, anxiety. See Admin. Record
(“AR”) at 188.
Allegedly Began: May 18, 2009
Previous Work Experience: Retail sales clerk, nursery school
attendant, jewelry salesperson, receptionist, pharmacy
technician, courier, children's attendant.
Level Achieved by Plaintiff: Some college.
the third time this case has been before the Court. Plaintiff
first applied for benefits on May 21, 2009. AR at 95, 160-66.
The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) denied
Plaintiff's claims on initial review and on
reconsideration. Id. at 95-96. Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) Mattie Harvin-Woode held a hearing
on Plaintiff's claims on June 6, 2011. Id. at
27-94. On August 22, 2011, ALJ Harvin-Woode issued a decision
denying Plaintiff's claims. Id. at 11-22. The
Appeals Council denied review, and Plaintiff sought review in
this Court. Id. at 1-3, 956-58.
February 3, 2014, Chief Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida
issued a decision reversing and remanding the case for
further administrative proceedings. Id. at 966-74.
Judge Tsuchida held that the ALJ erred in rejecting medical
opinions from David Linker, M.D., David Jarvis, M.D., and
James Czysz, Psy.D. Id. at 966-71. Judge Tsuchida
held that the ALJ did not err in discounting Plaintiff's
testimony. Id. at 971-74. Judge Tsuchida ordered on
remand that the ALJ reassess the opinions of Dr. Linker, Dr.
Jarvis, and Dr. Czysz, reassess Plaintiff's residual
functional capacity (“RFC”) as necessary, and
reconsider the other evidence as appropriate. Id. at
remand, ALJ Laura Valente held a second hearing. Id.
at 887-928. ALJ Valente then issued a decision, dated August
19, 2015, again denying Plaintiff's claim for benefits.
Id. at 802-17. The Appeals Council did not assume
jurisdiction, and Plaintiff again sought review in this
Court. Id. at 1649-52.
26, 2017, Magistrate Judge James Donohue issued a decision
reversing and remanding the case for further administrative
proceedings. Id. at 1654-66. Judge Donohue held that
the ALJ erred in rejecting Dr. Jarvis's opinions.
Id. at 1661-62. Judge Donohue held that the ALJ did
not err in rejecting Dr. Linker and Dr. Czysz's opinions.
Id. at 1663-64. Judge Donohue further held that
Plaintiff had not shown ALJ error in discounting other
medical opinions, including that of David Widlan, Ph.D.
Id. at 1664. Judge Donohue ordered on remand that
the ALJ reconsider Dr. Jarvis's opinion and
Plaintiff's RFC. Id. at 1666.
Valente held a third hearing in this matter on May 1, 2018.
Id. at 1583-91. At that hearing, Plaintiff's
counsel reported that he was still waiting on medical records
from the University of Washington and Providence, and
work-related records from Fred Meyer. Id. at
1586-87. ALJ Valente thus rescheduled the hearing, which took
place four and a half months later, on September 20, 2018.
Id. at 1592-1615. The summary below relates to this
last hearing and the decision that followed.
Date of Hearing: September 20, 2018
Date of Decision: December 4, 2018
Appears in Record at: AR at 1519-33
Summary of Decision:
The claimant last met the insured requirements of the Social
Security Act on March 31, 2017.
The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful activity
from her alleged onset date of May 18, 2009, through her date
last insured of March 31, 2017. See 20 C.F.R.
Through the date last insured, the claimant had the following
severe impairments: History of ischemic cardiomyopathy,
history of complex congenital heart defects status post
multiple surgical procedures, mid congestive heart failure,
coronary artery disease, asthma, sleep apnea, degenerative
disc disease of the cervical spine, thoracic outlet syndrome
in the non-dominant left upper extremity, migraines,
affective disorders variously diagnosed as depression and
dysthymic disorder, and ...