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Mae S. v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

October 16, 2019

TIFFANY MAE S., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          MICHELLE L. PETERSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff seeks review of the denial of her application for Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance Benefits. Plaintiff contends the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) erred by rejecting the medical opinions of State agency physicians. (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).

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff was born in 1986, has a ninth-grade education, and has worked as a house keeper and in the fast food industry. AR at 70, 227, 240. Plaintiff was last gainfully employed in 2007. Id. at 231.

         On March 3, 2016, Plaintiff applied for benefits, alleging disability as of March 3, 2016.

         AR at 26, 63. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and on reconsideration, and Plaintiff requested a hearing. Id. at 126-29, 133-35, 136-38. After the ALJ conducted a hearing on May 29, 2018, the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. Id. at 23-36.

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

Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since March 3, 2016.
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: asthma and depressive disorder (20 CFR § 416.920(c)).
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can lift 25 pounds occasionally and 20 pounds frequently. She is able to occasionally climb ramps/stairs. She is able to perform work that does not require climbing ladders/ropes/scaffolds. She is able to perform work that allows her to avoid exposure to pulmonary irritants (e.g. dusts, fumes, odors, gases) and to hazards as defined by the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT). She can understand, recall, and execute simple tasks. She is able to work in a setting that is predictable with routine work changes. She is able to work in a primarily independent work setting with no contact with the public, occasional, superficial contact with coworkers, and occasional contact with supervisors after the initial training period.
Step four: Plaintiff has no 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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