United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER REVERSING AND REMANDING DEFENDANT'S
DECISION TO DENY BENEFITS
Theresa L. Fricke United States Magistrate Judge
has brought this matter for judicial review of
Defendant's denial of her applications for disability
insurance and supplemental security income benefits.
parties have consented to have this matter heard by the
undersigned Magistrate Judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(c);
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73; Local Rule MJR 13. For
the reasons set forth below, the undersigned agrees that the
ALJ erred, and the ALJ's decision is reversed and
remanded for further administrative proceedings.
ISSUES FOR REVEW
the ALJ fail to develop the record with respect to
Plaintiff's cognitive impairment?
the ALJ err in finding there were a significant number of
jobs Plaintiff could perform at Step Five?
the ALJ properly evaluate the medical opinion evidence?
the ALJ err in discounting lay witness testimony?
the ALJ err in evaluating Plaintiff's symptom testimony?
December 18, 2014, Plaintiff filed applications for
disability insurance and supplemental security income
benefits, alleging a disability onset date of February 14,
2012. AR 63, 387-93, 394-402. Plaintiff's applications
were denied upon initial administrative review and on
reconsideration. AR 63, 263-65, 266-69, 281-85, 286-92. A
hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) Allen Erickson on May 25, 2017. AR
143-204. In a decision dated November 1, 2017, the ALJ found
that Plaintiff was not disabled. AR 60-76. The Social
Security Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review on October 15, 2018. AR 1-7.
December 19, 2018, Plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court
seeking judicial review of the ALJ's written decision.
Dkt. 4. Plaintiff asks this Court to reverse the ALJ's
decision and to remand this case for additional proceedings.
Dkt. 13, p. 18.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court will uphold an ALJ's decision unless: (1) the
decision is based on legal error; or (2) the decision is not
supported by substantial evidence. Revels v.
Berryhill, 874 F.3d 648, 654 (9th Cir. 2017).
Substantial evidence is “‘such relevant evidence
as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.'” Biestek v. Berryhill, 139
S.Ct. 1148, 1154 (2019). This requires “more than a
mere scintilla” of evidence. Id.
Court must consider the administrative record as a whole.
Garrison v. Colvin,759 F.3d 995, 1009 (9th Cir.
2014). The Court is required to weigh both the evidence that
supports, and evidence that does not support, the ALJ's
conclusion. Id. The Court may not affirm the
decision of the ALJ for a reason upon which the ALJ did not
rely. Id. ...