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. Paintiff contends the administrative law
judge (“ALJ”) erred in discounting certain
medical opinions. (Dkt. # 10 at 1-2.) As discussed below, the
Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and
DISMISSES the case with prejudice.
was born in 1967, has a tenth-grade education, and has worked
as a carpet cleaner, recycling truck driver, transfer garbage
truck driver, construction driver, and short-haul truck
driver. AR at 47, 242. He testified at the 2018
administrative hearing that he started working again
part-time after the adjudicated period, in 2016. Id.
2013, Plaintiff applied for benefits, alleging disability as
of June 17, 2013. AR at 99, 184-90. Plaintiff's
application was denied initially and on reconsideration, and
Plaintiff requested a hearing. Id. at 132-34,
136-42. After the ALJ conducted a hearing in December 2015
(id. at 39-67), the ALJ issued a decision finding
Plaintiff not disabled. Id. at 17-33. The Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review
(id. at 1-4), but the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Washington granted the parties'
stipulation to reverse the Commissioner's decision and
remand the case for further administrative proceedings.
Id. at 798.
remand, the ALJ held a hearing in October 2018 (AR at 744-65)
and subsequently found Plaintiff not disabled. Id.
at 635-52. Utilizing the five-step disability evaluation
process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity during the time between his amended alleged onset
date (January 1, 2014) and his date last insured
(“DLI”) (December 31, 2015).
Step two: Through the DLI, Plaintiff had the following severe
impairments: obesity, musculoskeletal conditions described as
cervical and lumbar spine degenerative disc disease, rotator
cuff injury, and right knee arthritis; and mental health
conditions described as borderline intellectual functioning,
learning disorder, depression, anxiety, attention deficit
disorder, and alcohol abuse in partial remission.
Step three: Through the DLI, these impairments did not meet
or equal the requirements of a listed
Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”): Through the
DLI, Plaintiff could perform light work with additional
limitations: he could stand and walk two hours in an
eight-hour workday, and sit six hours in an eight-hour
workday. He could occasionally climb ramps and stairs. He
could not climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. He could
frequently balance, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl. He could
occasionally reach overhead bilaterally. He should avoid
concentrated exposure to vibration and hazards such as
unprotected heights and exposed moving mechanical parts. He
could understand and remember simple instructions and known
detailed tasks. He had sufficient concentration, persistence,
or pace to complete simple, routine tasks for a normal
workday and workweek with normal breaks. He could adjust to
simple changes in workplace procedures.
Step four: Through the DLI, Plaintiff could not perform past
Step five: As there are jobs that exist in significant
numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff could have
performed during the adjudicated period, Plaintiff was not
disabled at any time during the adjudicated period.
now seeks judicial review of the ALJ's decision.