United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
P. Rodovich United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the court on petition for judicial review of
the decision of the Commissioner filed by the plaintiff,
Corey Treunas Green, on April 14, 2016. For the following
reasons, the decision of the Commissioner is
plaintiff, Corey Treunas Green, filed an application for
Supplemental Security Income on November 19, 2014, alleging a
disability onset date of November 23, 2013. (Tr. 14). The
Disability Determination Bureau denied Green's
application on January 27, 2015, and again upon
reconsideration on March 10, 2015. (Tr. 14). Green
subsequently filed a timely request for a hearing on March
16, 2015. (Tr. 14). A video hearing was held on October 16,
2015, before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) William E.
Sampson, and the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on
January 21, 2016. (Tr. 14-26). Vocational Expert (VE) Sarah
Gibson, Medical Expert (ME) Charles D. Auvenshine, and Green
testified at the hearing. (Tr. 14). The Appeals Council
denied review, making the ALJ's decision the final
decision of the Commissioner. (Tr. 1-4).
one of the five step sequential analysis for determining
whether an individual is disabled, the ALJ found that Green
had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since
November 19, 2014, the application date. (Tr. 16). At step
two, the ALJ determined that Green had the following severe
impairments: schizoaffective disorder, depressive disorder,
learning disability, NOS, and history of substance abuse
disorder in partial remission. (Tr. 16). At step three, the
ALJ concluded that Green did not have an impairment or
combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the
severity of one of the listed impairments. (Tr. 16).
Specifically, the ALJ determined that Green did not meet
Listing 12.05 C, Intellectual Disability, because there was
no evidence in the record to support that the onset of
Green's impairment began before the age of 22, as
required. (Tr. 17).
found that Green's mental impairments did not meet or
medically equal listings 12.02, 12.03, and 12.04. (Tr. 17).
In finding that Green did not meet the above listings, the
ALJ considered the paragraph B criteria for mental
impairments, which required at least two of the following:
marked restriction of activities of daily living; marked
difficulties in maintaining social functioning; marked
difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or
pace; or repeated episodes of decompensation, each of
(Tr. 17). The ALJ defined a marked limitation as more than
moderate but less than extreme and repeated episodes of
decompensation, each of extended duration, as three episodes
within one year or once every four months with each episode
lasting at least two weeks. (Tr. 17).
determined that Green had mild restrictions in activities of
daily living. (Tr. 17). Green testified that he lived with
his mother, sister, and his sister's infant daughter.
(Tr. 17). He indicated that he wore the same clothes daily
and that he fed himself every other day. (Tr. 17). However,
Green reported that he could prepare sandwiches and simple
meals for himself. (Tr. 17). Green's mother contradicted
his report that he could not perform household chores. (Tr.
17). She indicated that Green would start household chores
but that he was unable to finish the tasks. (Tr. 17). Also,
she reported that Green would leave the house two to three
times a week. (Tr. 17). Green reported that his interests
included talking to himself, while his mother indicated that
he could watch television all day. (Tr. 17). Green also
testified that he read headlines on Facebook and that he used
Twitter. (Tr. 17).
found that Green had mild difficulties in social functioning.
(Tr. 18). Green reported that he stayed home daily. (Tr. 18).
However, the ALJ noted that Green's self-report and his
mother's report indicated that he went outside the home
at least two to three times a week. (Tr. 18). Green reported
that he felt like people were trying to harm him when he was
around them and that he did not have any social skills. (Tr.
18). However, Green testified that he had worked as a
part-time cashier at Dollar General and as a package handler
for FedEx. (Tr. 18). Further, Green reported at the
psychological consultative examination that he drank and
smoked with friends during the day and that he would return
home the next day or a few days later. (Tr. 18).
concluded that Green had moderate difficulties in
concentration, persistence, or pace. (Tr. 18). Green reported
that he could not comprehend most things, which he indicated
affected his ability to talk, hear, see, understand, follow
instructions, complete tasks, concentrate, and remember
things. (Tr. 18). However, the ALJ indicated that Green had
obtained a GED. (Tr. 18). Further, the ALJ indicated that
Green had participated in psychiatric treatment in November
of 2014. (Tr. 18). Also, Green was able to pay attention to
work-related tasks while employed at Dollar General and
FedEx. (Tr. 18). The ALJ indicated that Green was attentive
during the hearing and that he responded to questions without
a need for redirection. (Tr. 18).
found that Green had not experienced any extended episodes of
decompensation. (Tr. 18). Because Green did not have two
marked limitations or one marked limitation and repeated
episodes of decompensation, the ALJ determined that Green did
not satisfy the paragraph B criteria. (Tr. 18). Additionally,
the ALJ found that Green did not satisfy the paragraph C
criteria. (Tr. 18).
then assessed Green's residual functional capacity (RFC)
the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform
a full range of work at all exertional levels but with the
following nonexertional limitations the claimant is limited
to simple, routine, repetitive tasks; he can have occasional
interaction with coworkers, and supervisors, but no
interaction with the public; he can have no production pace
(Tr. 19). The ALJ explained that in considering Green's
symptoms he followed a two-step process. (Tr. 19). First, he
determined whether there was an underlying medically
determinable physical or mental impairment that was shown by
a medically acceptable clinical or laboratory diagnostic
technique that reasonably could be expected to produce
Green's pain or other symptoms. (Tr. 19). Then, he
evaluated the intensity, persistence, and limiting effects of
the symptoms to determine the extent to which they limited
Green's functioning. (Tr. 20).
has alleged symptoms that are consistent with schizoaffective
disorder, depressive disorder, learning disability, NOS, and
history of a substance abuse disorder in partial remission.
(Tr. 20). He reported that he heard voices every day and that
the voices told him to harm himself and others. (Tr. 20).
Green also reported that he was depressed to the point that
he was unable to do anything during the day. (Tr. 20). He
indicated that he was unable to perform household chores or
personal care activities without the assistance of his mother
and his sister. (Tr. 20). The ALJ found that Green's