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Dale D. v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

October 21, 2019

DALE D., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONER'S DECISION AND DISMISSING THE CASE WITH PREJUDICE

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff seeks review of the denial of his application for Supplemental Security Income, contending the ALJ erred in evaluating two medical opinions and two lay witness statements. Dkt. 10. As discussed below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is currently 54 years old, has a high school education, and has worked as a shingle sawyer, saw mill laborer, and bolter. Administrative Record (AR) 27. Plaintiff applied for benefits in October 2015 and alleges disability as of the application date. AR 41, 15, 116. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and on reconsideration. AR 115, 125. After a hearing in October 2017, the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. AR 36, 15-29.

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

         Using the five-step disability evaluation process in 20 C.F.R. § 416.920, the ALJ found:

Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the application date.
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: lumbar spine spondylolisthesis, lumbar spine degenerative disc disease and degenerative joint disease with status post surgery, asthma, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment under 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can perform light work. He can occasionally crawl and climb ladders, ropes, and scaffolds. He can tolerate occasional exposure to vibration, extreme cold, and concentrated dusts, fumes, gases, odors, poor ventilation, and pulmonary irritants. He can understand, remember, and apply short, simple instructions and perform routine, predictable tasks. He cannot tolerate a fast-paced production type environment. He can make simple work-related decisions, and tolerate occasional workplace changes and occasional interaction with coworkers and the public.
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, he is not disabled.

AR 17-29. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, making the ALJ's decision the ...


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