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Shayne T v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

August 28, 2019

SHAYNE T., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER REVERSING AND REMANDING FOR FURTHER ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS

          Thomas S. Zilly United States District Judge

         Plaintiff seeks review of the denial of her application for Supplemental Security Income. Plaintiff contends the ALJ erred by rejecting three medical opinions and by finding her impairments did not meet or medically equal a listing. Dkt. 9. 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. § 405(g).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is currently 40 years old, has at least a high school education, and has worked as a short order cook, telemarketer, and merchandizer. Dkt. 7, Admin. Record (AR) 27. Plaintiff applied for benefits in March 2015. AR 73. She alleges disability as of the application date. AR 38. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and on reconsideration. AR 100, 129. After the ALJ conducted a hearing in July 2017, the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. AR 36, 17-29.

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

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

Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the March 2015 alleged onset date.
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: organic mental disorder, affective disorder/depression, anxiety disorder, substance abuse disorder/drugs/chemical dependency, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can perform work at all exertional levels. She can remember, understand, and carry out tasks generally required by occupations with a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) level of one to two. She can adjust to changes in the work setting generally associated with occupations with an SVP of one to two. She can have occasional superficial public interaction, and occasional interaction with coworkers or supervisors. Her work tasks must be able to be completed without the assistance of others, but occasional assistance would be tolerated.
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, she is not disabled.

AR 19-29. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, making the ALJ's decision the ...


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