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Forrest E. v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

December 4, 2019

FORREST E., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          MICHELLE L. PETERSON United States Magistrate Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff seeks review of the denial of his applications for Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance Benefits. Plaintiff contends the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) erred at step five by relying on vocational expert (“VE”) testimony that Plaintiff could perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy, despite Plaintiff's post-hearing challenge and request for a supplemental hearing. (Dkt. # 10 at 1.) As discussed below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff was born in 1974, has a high school diploma and some college education, and has worked as a tractor-trailer truck driver. AR at 52, 60. Plaintiff was last gainfully employed in 2015. Id. at 231.

         In October 2015, Plaintiff applied for benefits, alleging disability as of June 1, 2013. AR at 190-205. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and on reconsideration, and Plaintiff requested a hearing. Id. at 123-26, 131-38. After the ALJ conducted a hearing on October 25, 2017 (id. at 46-66), the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. Id. at 17-28.

[1]
Step one: Plaintiff has worked since the alleged onset date, but the work did not rise to the level of substantial gainful activity.
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: obesity; status post gastric bypass; history of traumatic brain injury with residual headaches; obstructive sleep apnea; left knee osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease; and mental health conditions described as depression and attention deficit disorders.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Plaintiff can perform sedentary work with additional limitations: he can lift/carry 10 pounds occasionally and frequently. He can sit about six hours, and can stand and walk about two hours in an eight-hour workday. He can frequently stoop, and occasionally kneel and crawl. He must avoid concentrated exposure to cold, heat, vibration, and hazards such as machinery and heights. He can do simple routine work with occasional contact with 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, ...

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