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Robert L. v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

December 27, 2019

ROBERT L., 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 application for Disability Insurance Benefits. Plaintiff contends the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) erred in how she weighed the medical opinion evidence and Plaintiff's subjective complaints. Plaintiff also claims that the ALJ erred in failing to assess the impact of Plaintiff's obesity and sleep apnea on his ability to function. (Dkt. # 9 at 1.) As discussed below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is 41 years old and has a high school education. AR at 100. Plaintiff has worked as a warehouse worker, systems programmer, computer programmer, and helpdesk person. Id. at 59-60. Plaintiff meets the insured status requirements through December 31, 2021. Id. at 17.

         Plaintiff was last gainfully employed in June 2016. Id.

         On June 18, 2016, Plaintiff applied for benefits, alleging disability as of June 17, 2016. AR at 15, 101. Plaintiff's claimed impairments consisted of general anxiety, social anxiety, depression, autism, and foot, back, hip, and hand pain. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and on reconsideration, and Plaintiff requested a hearing. Id. at 15. After the ALJ conducted a hearing on March 8, 2018 in Seattle, Washington, the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. Id. at 29-30.

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

Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 17, 2016.
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: obesity, chronic pain disorder, affective disorder, anxiety disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder and obstructive sleep apnea.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: As relevant to this appeal, the ALJ found that Plaintiff can perform light work with some exceptions. Plaintiff can sit, stand, and walk for six hours each in an eight-hour day, can frequently balance, stoop, and climb ramps and stairs, can occasionally kneel, crouch, and crawl, and cannot climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. Plaintiff has sufficient concentration for complex and detailed tasks, which can be accomplished in two-hour increments with the usual breaks, should not work in a job where working with the public is the focus of the job, but can interact occasionally with the public. Plaintiff can work in the same room with a small group of coworkers, possibly up to ten, but should not work in coordination with coworkers. Plaintiff can interact occasionally with supervisors and can adapt to occasional workplace changes.
Step four: Plaintiff can perform past relevant work.
Step five: In the alternative, considering the Plaintiff's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that ...

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