United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
A. KIMBALL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Hainline (Hainline) filed an application for Supplemental
Security Income (SSI) on July 9, 2010, alleging a disability
beginning around May 5, 1991. Hainline's claim was denied
on October 14, 2010, and was also denied upon reconsideration
on March 1, 2011. A hearing was held on October 1, 2012
before Administrative Law Judge Gilbert Martinez. The ALJ
issued a decision finding that Hainline is not disabled.
Hainline appealed the ALJ's decision to the Appeals
Council, which remanded the case back to the ALJ for further
review. A remand hearing was held on July 9, 2014. The ALJ
again issued a decision finding that Hainline is not
disabled. The Appeals Council denied Hainline's request
for review. Hainline now appeals the ALJ's final decision
finding that she is not disabled.
October 16, 2017, the court held a hearing on Hainline's
appeal. At the hearing, the appellant Hainline was
represented by Natalie L. Bolli-Jones and the appellee was
represented by James L. Burgess. The court took the motion
under advisement. Based on the briefing filed by the parties
and the law and facts relevant to the pending motion, the
court issues the following Memorandum Decision and Order
GRANTING in part and DENYING in part Hainline's appeal.
has an extensive medical history showing that she has many
physical and mental difficulties. At issue in this appeal is
Hainline's alleged motor/perceptual and social
impairments. Three medical professionals' opinions
relating to Hainline's motor/perceptual impairments are
at issue in this appeal. Only the facts and opinions relevant
to this appeal will be discussed.
2013, Hainline alleges that Dr. Knudsen performed a comprehensive
physical exam and determined that Hainline could perform, at
best, light work with some limitations in her ability to
manipulate fine objects. The ALJ gave “great
weight” to Dr. Knudsen's medical opinion. (See
Administrative Record (A.R.) 57)).
mental status exam was also performed by Adam Schwebach,
Ph.D. at the Neuropsychology Center of Utah. Dr. Schwebach
determined that although Hainline had overall average
intellectual functioning, she struggles with executive
functioning, particularly in the area of planning, attention
regulation, and problem solving. Dr. Schwebach tested
Hainline's motor/perceptual abilities and based on the
results placed her in the bottom one percentile. (A.R. 782).
Dr. Schwebach also noted that she has significant difficulty
in developing and maintaining social relationships. Dr.
Schwebach diagnosed her with anxiety disorder, autism
spectrum disorder, and attention deficit disorder. The ALJ
gave “great weight” to Dr. Schwebach's
neuropsychological evaluation. (A.R. 57).
Nelson performed a consultative examination. Dr. Nelson's
examination covered all of Hainline's alleged
impairments. (A.R. 56). Dr. Nelson opined, in relevant part,
that Hainline has good hand-eye coordination and full
strength. (A.R. 592). Dr. Nelson found that the claimant
could perform some forms of work. (A.R. 56). The ALJ gave
“considerable weight” to Dr. Nelson's
on the medical opinions, the ALJ determined that Hainline has
severe impairments which include Asperger's syndrome,
seizures, asthma, obesity, and a hearing loss in her left
ear. The ALJ found that despite these health problems,
Hainline can perform light work that exists in the national
economy. (A.R. 53).Specifically, the ALJ determined that
Hainline can perform the job of a laundry folder and an
addressor. The ALJ therefore determined that Hainline is not
determined that Hainline can perform light work with the
following limitations: She can understand, remember, and
carry out short and simple instructions, and make simple
work-related decisions. She can interact with supervisors and
co-workers, but should have only brief and superficial
interactive contact with the public. She can perform simple,
routine, goal-oriented work in a consistent stable
environment, and no fast-paced work. The ALJ determined that
with Hainline's residual functioning capacity she can
perform work available in the national economy. (A.R. 53).
standard of review for an appeal of a Social Security
determination is whether the ALJ's factual findings are
supported by substantial evidence and whether the ALJ applied
the correct legal standards in determining disability.
Winfrey v. Chater, 92 F.3d 1017, 1019 (10th Cir.
1996). The court may consider the specific rules of law that
the ALJ must follow in weighing particular types of evidence,
but will not reweigh the evidence or substitute its judgment
for the Commissioner's. Reyes v. Bowen, 845 F.2d
242, 244 (10th Cir. 1988).
argues that the ALJ erred in evaluating the medical evidence
from Dr. Knudsen and Dr. Schwebach. Hainline asserts that the
ALJ gave great weight to the medical testing performed by
these two doctors, however, the ALJ failed to explain why he
did not accept all of the findings by these doctors.
Specifically, Haineline asserts that the ALJ: 1. Failed to
resolve a discrepancy in the record between Dr. Knudsen and
Dr. Nelson relating to Hainline's fine motor skill
limitations; 2. Failed to resolve a discrepancy in the record
between Dr. Schwebach and Dr. Nelson relating to
Hainline's fine motor skills limitations; and 3. ...