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Kirk R. v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

December 4, 2019

KIRK R., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONER

          BRIAN A. TSUCHIDA Chief United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff seeks review of the denial of his application for Disability Insurance Benefits. He contends the ALJ erred by discounting his subjective testimony, his treating nurse's opinions, and his wife's statement. Dkt. 8 at 1. As discussed below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is currently 42 years old, has two years of college education, and previously worked at a lumber mill as a forklift operator, shipping clerk, special order laborer, and chain puller. Tr. 57, 188, 218. In February 2016, he applied for benefits, alleging disability as of January 8, 2016.[1] Tr. 154-55. His application was denied initially and on reconsideration. Tr. 89-91, 95-99. The ALJ conducted a hearing on January 2, 2018 (Tr. 31-62), and subsequently found Plaintiff not disabled. Tr. 15-25. As the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, the ALJ's decision is the Commissioner's final decision. Tr. 1-6.

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

Utilizing the five-step disability evaluation process, [2] the ALJ found:
Step one: Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the amended alleged onset date.
Step two: Plaintiff's lumbar spine degenerative disc disease is a severe impairment.
Step three: This impairment did not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[3]
Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”): Plaintiff can perform light work with additional limitations: he can lift/carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. He can stand/walk for six hours in an eight-workday, and sit for six hours in an eight-hour workday. He can occasionally climb ramps and stairs. He cannot climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. He can frequently stoop, kneel, and crouch. He can never crawl. He must avoid concentrated exposure to vibrations and hazards in the workplace, such as moving machinery and unprotected heights.
Step four: Plaintiff could perform his past work as a shipping clerk, and he is therefore not disabled.
Step five: In the alternative, there are also jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff can perform.

Tr. ...


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