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Nadynne S. v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

October 31, 2019

NADYNNE 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 Disability Insurance Benefits. Plaintiff contends the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) erred by discounting the opinion of examining psychologist David Widlan, Ph.D.; by excluding mental impairments at step two; and by discounting Plaintiff's testimony and that of her husband. (Dkt. # 10 at 1-2.) As discussed below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff was born in 1955, has a high school diploma and some college education, and has worked as a certified nursing assistant. AR at 65, 70, 261. Plaintiff was last gainfully employed in 2016. Id. at 251-54.

         In August 2015, Plaintiff applied for benefits, alleging disability as of May 28, 2015. AR at 227-28. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and on reconsideration, and Plaintiff requested a hearing. Id. at 143-46, 151-55, 159-60. After the ALJ conducted a hearing on October 13, 2017 (id. at 47-119), the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. Id. at 16-27.

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

Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date.
Step two: Plaintiff's left knee degenerative joint disease, status post arthroscopy and partial medial meniscectomy, is a severe impairment.
Step three: This impairment does not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can perform light work with additional limitations: she can frequently climb ramps and stairs, but cannot climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. She can frequently stoop and occasionally kneel, crouch, and crawl. She must avoid concentrated exposure to vibration and hazards.
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, ...

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