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 in assessing the medical
evidence, and in discounting his testimony and his wife's
testimony. (Dkt. # 8.) 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).
was born in 1975, has a high school diploma, and has worked
in an auto repair shop and a boat dealership. AR at 254.
Plaintiff was last gainfully employed in September 2007.
November 2015, Plaintiff applied for benefits, alleging
disability as of September 1, 2007. AR at 15, 233-34.
Plaintiff's application was denied initially and on
reconsideration, and Plaintiff requested a hearing.
Id. at 123-25, 127-28, 131-32. After the ALJ
conducted hearings in May and October 2017 (id. at
29-107), the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not
disabled before his date last insured (“DLI”) of
December 31, 2012. Id. at 15-24.
Utilizing the five-step disability evaluation process,
Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity between his alleged onset date (September 1, 2007)
and his DLI.
Step two: Through the DLI, Plaintiff's multiple sclerosis
was a severe impairment.
Step three: Through the DLI, this impairment did not meet or
equal the requirements of a listed impairment.
Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”): Through the
DLI, Plaintiff could have performed sedentary work with
additional limitations: he could not have climbed ladders,
ropes, or scaffolds, and could have occasionally climbed
ramps and stairs, balanced, stooped, crouched, crawled, and
kneeled. He could have tolerated occasional exposure to
vibration and temperature and humidity extremes, but could
not have been exposed to hazards such as open water, open
flame, open heights, and open machinery. He could not have
engaged in commercial driving. He could have occasionally
used bilateral foot controls and could have performed
frequent, but not continuous, handling and fingering
Step four: Through the DLI, Plaintiff could not have
performed any past relevant work.
Step five: As there are jobs that exist in significant
numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff could have
performed through the DLI, Plaintiff ...