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Thomas F. v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

December 26, 2019

THOMAS F., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONER

          BRIAN A. TSUCHIDA, CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff appeals the ALJ's decision finding him not disabled. He contends the ALJ erred in (1) finding his leg impairments does not medically equal Listing 1.02, and (2) assessing his residual functional capacity (“RFC”). Dkt. 14 at 2.[1] For the reasons below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is currently 47 years old, has a high school diploma, and has worked as a truck driver, garbage truck driver, bus driver, and shuttle driver. Tr. 58, 62. In January 2016, he applied for benefits, alleging disability as of March 27, 2008. Tr. 256-57. His application was denied initially and on reconsideration. Tr. 124-26, 128-32. The ALJ conducted a hearing in December 2017 (Tr. 43-108), and subsequently found Plaintiff not disabled. Tr. 27-37. 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 did not engage in substantial gainful activity between his alleged onset date of March 27, 2008, and his date last insured (“DLI”) of December 31, 2013.
Step two: Through the DLI, Plaintiff's status post left knee fracture and status post left leg fracture were severe impairments.
Step three: Through the DLI, these impairments did not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[3]
RFC: Through the DLI, Plaintiff could perform light work with additional limitations: he could lift/carry up to 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. He could sit for at least six hours in an eight-hour workday, and stand for two hours in an eight-hour workday. He could not climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. He could occasionally climb ramps or stairs. He could occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. He could occasionally operate foot controls with the left foot. He could have occasional exposure to vibration and extreme cold temperatures. He could frequently, but not continuously, handle and finger with the dominant right hand.
Step four: Through the DLI, Plaintiff could not perform his past work.
Step five: As there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff could perform through the DLI, he is not disabled.

         Tr. ...


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