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Cynthia M. v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

January 8, 2020

CYNTHIA M., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONER'S DECISION AND DISMISSING THE CASE WITH PREJUDICE

          Honorable Richard A. Jones, United States District Judge

         Plaintiff seeks review of the denial of her applications for Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance Benefits. Plaintiff contends the ALJ erred by failing to fully account for her fibromyalgia flares. Dkt. 9. As discussed below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the case with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is 38 years old, has a high school education, and has worked as a substance abuse counselor, food/drink server, and veterinarian assistant. Dkt. 7, Admin. Record (AR) 33. Plaintiff applied for benefits in March 2015, alleging disability as of May 7, 2013. AR 85. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and on reconsideration. AR 83, 84, 109, 110. After a July 2017 hearing, the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. AR 54-82, 22-35.

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

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

Step one: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the May 2013 alleged onset date.
Step two: Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: fibromyalgia, headaches/ migraines, adjustment disorder, and history of endometriosis.
Step three: These impairments do not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity (RFC): Plaintiff can perform sedentary work, further limited to frequently climbing ramps and stairs; occasionally stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling; and never climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. She can sit for one hour at a time, and then needs to stand for five minutes. She can stand or walk in 20-minute increments. She must avoid frequent exposure to hazards. She is limited to simple, routine tasks.
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, she is not disabled.

AR 24-35. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, making the ALJ's decision the ...


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