United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
Allen M. Kraft, Plaintiff,
Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
JOSEPH S. VAN BOKKELEN, District Judge.
Plaintiff Allen M. Kraft seeks judicial review of the final decision of Defendant Carolyn Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, who denied his applications for Disability Insurance Benefits and Child's Insurance Benefits under the Social Security Act. For the reasons stated below, the Court affirms the decision of the ALJ and Social Security Administration.
A. Procedural Background
Plaintiff applied for Disability Insurance Benefits and Child's Insurance Benefits on October 21, 2010, alleging the onset of disability on June 30, 2009. (R. at 138-150.) Plaintiff's claims were denied and he requested a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). (R. at 76-87, 99-100.) His hearing was held on May 15, 2012. (R. at 34-69.) On May 23, 2012, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff was not disabled under the Social Security Act. (R. at 13-25.) The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, making the ALJ's decision final. (R. at 1-3.)
B. Factual Background
(1) Plaintiff's Background and Testimony
Plaintiff was born in 1990. (R. at 138.) He completed high school and received his diploma in May 2009. (R. at 206.) Before applying for disability, Plaintiff worked at several places, including Payless Grocery Store from April to July 2006. (R. at 207, 227.) He retrieved shopping carts from the parking lot and bagged groceries. (R. at 227.) He claims that assisting individuals who needed help putting their groceries in their cars made him feel very overwhelmed. (R. at 227.)
From July to August 2007, Plaintiff worked at Burger King. (R. at 228.) He testified that he watched the automatic grill but was let go because he missed too much work due to feeling overwhelmed. (R. at 228.) After that, Plaintiff worked at Wal-Mart from April 2008 to June 2009. (R. at 229.) During his four hour shift, Plaintiff did things such as watering plants, unloading trucks, shelving plants, and loading dirt and mulch for customers into their vehicles. (R. at 229.) However, he felt this job was very overwhelming and called in a lot, resulting in Plaintiff losing the job. (R. at 234.)
Plaintiff worked from May to June of 2010 in the youth job program through INDOT, where he mowed grass and moved rocks. (R. at 230.) During the second week of the job, he was asked to work on a bridge where, according to him, he became so overwhelmed he never returned to the job. (R. at 230.)
During Plaintiff's hearing, he testified that not only did he work in the garden department of Wal-Mart, but he also worked the register. (R. at 41.) However, Plaintiff said he "couldn't deal with [it]" because he felt like people would criticize him or "think that [he] was doing bad." (R. at 41.) He testified that he had to give up the job because he "couldn't deal with talking to people and the situation was just overwhelming for [him]." (R. at 42.) However, it was later determined that he was actually fired for missing too many days and playing on his cell phone while working. (R. at 206.)
He also testified that he "can't drive very far" because he gets overwhelmed and has to turn around and go back home. (R. at 43.) He plays games on his phone "pretty much all day because [he's] trying to cope with [his] illness." (R. at 44.) Plaintiff stated that he no longer burns himself because his "mom said that if [he] burn[s himself] again she'd take [his] computer and television away." (R. at 44.) He further testified that he is "just generally a dirty person." (R. at 45m 50.) He showers roughly every two to four weeks and that's only when his "mom gets tired of [the smell] and [threatens] to take away [his] privileges to [his] computer and [his] television." (R. at 49.)
He smokes cigarettes all the time because he's consistently nervous and although previously denied smoking pot, later admitted that he did it recreationally. (R. at 52, 55.) He also stated that he is not obsessed with cleanliness, but instead his obsessive-compulsive disorder stems from "repetitive stuff." (R. at 45.) When asked about the jobs Plaintiff is capable of doing, he stated that he would "feel overwhelmed" doing repetitive tasks because "I just don't like [them]." (R. at 53.)
(2) Medical Evidence
Plaintiff claims he suffers from depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, severe anxiety, learning problems, self-mutilation, asthma, and is suicidal. (R. at 205).
Plaintiff first applied for Child Disability benefits in October 2010, claiming his inability to work started in June 2009. (R. at 138-39.) Medical records start in March 2007 when Plaintiff started going to his treating physician, Dr. Buonnano. (R. at 327.) During this first visit, Dr. Buonnano diagnosed him with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, prescribing Wellbutrin, Prozac, and Luvox. (R. at 327.) At the second meeting, Plaintiff was referred to Dr. DiCarlo for therapy. (R. at 327.) In November 2007, there was a discussion regarding the "homebound instruction" that Plaintiff received in March 2007 at the request by Dr. Buonnano. (R. 482-83.) His homebound education allowed him higher grades than he was receiving while going to a public school. (R. at 485.)
He continued visiting Dr. Buonnano through October 2010. (R. at 327.) In June 2007, Plaintiff stated he was feeling better and was job hunting. (R. at 326.) In November 2007 it was noted that Plaintiff was still depressed, but his OCD was not as prevalent as in previous months. (R. at 325.) In January 2009, he stated he was anxious over starting school and keeping his job at Wal-mart. (R. at 323.) In June 2009, Dr. Buonnano observed that Plaintiff is burning and ...