United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
KELLIE K. HARRINGTON, Plaintiff,
ANDREW M. SAUL, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
ORDER RE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY APPEAL
Alice Theiler United States Magistrate Judge
Kellie K. Harrington proceeds through counsel in her appeal
of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social
Security Administration (Commissioner). After a hearing
before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the Commissioner
denied plaintiff's application for Disability Insurance
Benefits (DIB). Having considered the ALJ's decision, the
administrative record (AR), and all memoranda, this matter is
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
was born on XXXX, 1971. She obtained her GED and previously
worked as a bartender, cashier, waitress, deli worker,
caterer helper, and babysitter. (AR 286, 958.)
filed SSI and DIB applications in October and November of
2011, alleging disability beginning February 28, 2006. (AR
254, 261.) She remained insured for DIB through June 30, 2009
and was required to establish disability on or prior to that
“date last insured” (DLI) to receive DIB.
See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.131, 404.321. Her
applications were denied initially and on reconsideration.
Timothy Mangrum held a hearing, taking testimony from
plaintiff and a vocational expert (VE) (AR 29-53), and issued
a decision dated October 29, 2013 (AR 12-23). He found a June
29, 2009 decision by ALJ Catherine Lazuran denying 2006 SSI
and DIB applications (see AR 57-66) administratively
final and the doctrine of res judicata to apply. However,
considering Chavez v. Bowen, 844 F.2d 691 (9th Cir.
1988), and Acquiescence Ruling (AR) 97-4(9), ALJ Mangrum
found the presumption of continuing non-disability resulting
from the prior unfavorable decision rebutted by new medical
evidence and noted plaintiff had amended her alleged
disability onset date to June 30, 2009, the day after ALJ
Lazuran's decision. The ALJ thereafter concluded
plaintiff was not disabled from February 28, 2006 through the
date of the decision.
timely appealed, the Appeals Council denied review (AR 1),
and this Court subsequently reversed and remanded based on a
stipulation of the parties. (AR 681-82.) The Appeals Council
remanded the matter (AR 685-86) and ALJ Mangrum held another
hearing, taking testimony from plaintiff and a VE (AR
621-50). In a decision dated June 23, 2017, ALJ Mangrum
issued a partially favorable decision, finding plaintiff not
disabled or entitled to DIB at any time through her June 30,
2009 DLI, not disabled prior to October 31, 2011, the date of
her SSI application, but that plaintiff became disabled and
entitled to SSI as of that date. (AR 605-13.) Plaintiff
appealed to this Court and, by Order dated August 29, 2018,
the Court affirmed the finding of disability beginning
October 31, 2011 and remanded for further administrative
proceedings in relation to plaintiff's DIB claim, as
described further below. (AR 993-1008.)
remand, the Appeals Council affirmed the finding of
disability as of October 31, 2011 and remanded the remaining
matter to a different ALJ to take any further action needed
to complete the record and to issue a decision on the issue
of disability before October 31, 2011. (AR 1014.) On remand,
ALJ Larry Kennedy did not find it necessary to hold a new
hearing given that the only issue was analysis of
plaintiff's DIB claim. (See AR 951.) In a
December 27, 2018 decision, ALJ Kennedy found plaintiff not
disabled through her June 30, 2009 DLI. (AR 950-60.)
Plaintiff appealed this final decision of the Commissioner to
Court has jurisdiction to review the ALJ's decision
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Commissioner follows a five-step sequential evaluation
process for determining whether a claimant is disabled.
See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920 (2000).
At step one, it must be determined whether the claimant is
gainfully employed. The ALJ found plaintiff had not engaged
in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date
through the DLI.
two, it must be determined whether a claimant suffers from a
severe impairment. The ALJ found, through the DLI, plaintiff
had severe impairments of anxiety disorder, personality
disorder, and alcohol abuse disorder. Step three asks whether
a claimant's impairments meet or equal a listed
impairment. The ALJ found plaintiff's impairments did not
meet or equal a listing.
impairments do not meet or equal a listing, the Commissioner
must assess RFC and determine at step four whether the
claimant has demonstrated an inability to perform past
relevant work. The ALJ found, through the DLI, plaintiff had
the RFC to perform a full range of work at all exertional
levels, but with the following non-exertional limitations:
able to do work involving simple, repetitive tasks and some
detailed tasks; not involving much exercise of judgment or
decision making; involving minimal interaction with coworkers
or supervisors and occasional to minimal interaction ...