United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
MICHELLE L. PETERSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
seeks review of the denial of her application for Disability
Insurance Benefits. Plaintiff contends the administrative law
judge (“ALJ”) erred in discounting a medical
opinion, her testimony, and her husband's
testimony. (Dkt. # 10 at 1.) Plaintiff contends that
these errors warrant a remand under sentence four of 42
U.S.C. § 405(g). In the alternative, Plaintiff argues
that evidence submitted for the first time to the Appeals
Council warrants a remand under sentence six of 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g). The Commissioner argues that a remand under
either sentence four or sentence six is not necessary because
the ALJ's decision is free of harmful legal error and is
supported by substantial evidence. As discussed below, the
Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and
DISMISSES the case with prejudice.
was born in 1974, has a high school diploma, and previously
worked as a shipping and receiving clerk, certified nursing
assistant, and sidle machine operator. AR at 59-60, 230.
Plaintiff was last gainfully employed in December 2014.
Id. at 229.
September 2015, Plaintiff applied for benefits, alleging
disability as of December 18, 2014. AR at 212-15.
Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and on
reconsideration, and Plaintiff requested a hearing.
Id. at 128-30, 134-40. After the ALJ conducted a
hearing on August 15, 2017 (id. at 51-109), the ALJ
issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled.
Id. at 35-45.
the five-step disability evaluation process,  the ALJ found:
Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since December 18, 2014.
two: Plaintiff's degenerative disc disease of the
cervical spine, status post surgery; degenerative disc
disease and degenerative joint disease of the thoracic spine;
and degenerative disc disease and spondylolisthesis of the
lumbar spine are severe impairments.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the
requirements of a listed impairment.
RFC: Plaintiff can perform sedentary work with additional
limitations: she can never climb ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds. She can only occasionally climb stairs or ramps.
She can only occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or
crawl. She can only occasionally reach overhead bilaterally.
She can only occasionally use bilateral foot controls. She
can only occasionally be exposed to vibration or extreme
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,