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Michael M. v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

September 19, 2019

ROBERT MICHAEL M., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          MICHELLE L. PETERSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff seeks review of the denial of his application for Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance Benefits. Plaintiff contends the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) erred by rejecting the medical opinion of Alysa A. Ruddell, Ph.D. (Dkt. # 10 at 1.) As discussed below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner’s final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff was born in 1977, has the equivalent of a high school education, and has worked as a construction laborer, a line cook, and a fire wash/welder helper at a shipyard for Labor Ready. AR at 37-38, 40, 50. Plaintiff was last gainfully employed in 2016. Id. at 45.

         On July 24, 2016, Plaintiff applied for benefits, alleging disability as of November 1, 2015. Id . at 15, 40. Plaintiff’s date last insured is June 30, 2016. Id. at 35. Plaintiff’s applications were denied initially and on reconsideration, and Plaintiff requested a hearing. Id. at 15. After the ALJ conducted a hearing on January 25, 2018, the ALJ issued a May 14, 2018 decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. Id. at 12-29.

Utilizing the five-step disability evaluation process, [1] the ALJ found:
Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since November 1, 2015, the alleged onset date.
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, cannabis use disorder, and methamphetamine dependence in reported remission.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can perform a full range of work at all exertional levels, except that Plaintiff can only perform simple, repetitive tasks, engage in superficial interactions with others, and perform work with few simple, routine changes and simple decisions.
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, ...

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