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Woodard-Ward v. Colvin

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

March 23, 2015

RODERICK WOODARD-WARD, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Defendant.

ENTRY ON JUDICIAL REVIEW

DENISE K. LaRUE, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Roderick Woodard-Ward ("Woodard-Ward") requests judicial review of the decision of Defendant Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (the "Commissioner"), denying Woodard-Ward's application for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI"). For the reasons set forth below, the Commissioner's decision is REVERSED and REMANDED.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Procedural History

Woodard-Ward filed an application for SSI on December 22, 2010, alleging an onset of disability of November 24, 2010. [Dkt. 20-2 at 17.] Woodard-Ward's application was denied initially on March 3, 2011, and upon reconsideration on March 30, 2011. [Id.] Woodard-Ward requested a hearing, which was held on July 12, 2012, before Administrative Law Judge Roxanne Fuller ("ALJ"). The ALJ denied Woodard-Ward's application on September 19, 2012. [Dkt. 20-2 at 14.] The Appeals Council denied Woodard-Ward's request for review of the ALJ's decision on September 26, 2013, making the ALJ's decision final for purposes of judicial review. Woodard-Ward filed his Complaint with this Court on January 21, 2014. [Dkt. 1.]

B. Factual Background and Medical History

Woodard-Ward was born on April 5, 1995 and was an adolescent on the date of alleged onset of disability. The ALJ found Woodard-Ward suffers from the severe impairments of borderline intellectual functioning, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, but that none met, medically equaled or functionally equaled the severity of a listed impairment. As Woodard-Ward and the ALJ thoroughly summarized the medical records, the Court will only cite to the portions relevant to the issues on which Woodard-Ward requests review.

II. LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Standard for Proving Child Disability

To determine whether a claimant under the age of 18 is disabled, the Commissioner employs a three-step sequential analysis:

1. First Commissioner must look to whether the child was performing substantial gainful activity (20 C.F.R. § 416.924(b)).
2. If the child was not, Commissioner must next determine whether the child has a severe impairment or combination of impairments (20 C.F.R. § 416.924(c)).
3. If the answer at step two is "yes, " the final step is to determine whether the impairment meets or equals an impairment listed in App. 1 (20 C.F.R. § 416.924(d)). If so, the child is disabled (20 C.F.R. § 416.924(d)(1)). If not, all of the listings must be considered to decide whether the child's functional limitations are equal in severity to the functional limitations in any listing (20 C.F.R. § 416.926a(a)). That degree of severity requires that the child have marked limitations in two domains of ...

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