United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
Benson District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
B. Pead United States Magistrate Judge
case was referred to the court under 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1)(B).
(ECF No. 24). Currently pending before the court is Plaintiff
Paul Jensen's appeal of the Commissioner of Social
Security's decision denying Plaintiff's claim for
Supplemental Security Income. Having considered the
parties' briefs, the administrative record, and the
relevant law, this court RECOMMENDS that the
District Court AFFIRM the Commissioner's
alleges a disability onset date of March 22, 2011. (Tr. 231).
Plaintiff's application for benefits was denied initially
on July 20, 2011, and upon reconsideration on October 26,
2011. (Tr. 130, 138). Plaintiff sought a hearing before an
ALJ, which took place on March 12, 2013. (Tr. 19). On March
27, 2013, ALJ Robin L. Henrie issued a written decision
finding Plaintiff not disabled. (Tr. 12-38). The Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review on October
6, 2014, making ALJ Henrie's decision the final decision
of the Commissioner. (Tr. 1-3).
was born December 16, 1994. (Tr. 110). He applied for
benefits at sixteen-years old and turned eighteen a few
months before the administrative hearing before the ALJ.
(See Tr. 12). Plaintiff has no work history and
alleges disability based on depression, anxiety, attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”), mood
disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder
(“PTSD”). (Tr. 241, 268).
medical records suggest Plaintiff had a long history of
childhood mental health issues, including diagnoses of
depression and anxiety. (E.g., Tr. 429, 430, 481,
486, 491). Plaintiff made several visits to emergency rooms
as early as age thirteen, and received inpatient mental
health treatment. (Tr. 381, 479, 486-89). Plaintiff responded
well to certain instances of medication and counseling. (Tr.
433, 470). Plaintiff and his mother testified about his
various ailments and difficulties in school and daily life.
(Tr. 53-104). They both also testified about an incident in
which Plaintiff became violent resulting in a police response
and ultimately led to Plaintiff being tased and arrested.
(Tr. 80-83, 98).
also began abusing alcohol at age ten and abusing marijuana
at age twelve. (Tr. 487). Plaintiff's mother testified he
abused marijuana daily, including on the date of the hearing
before the ALJ. (Tr. 75). Plaintiff confirmed his daily
marijuana use. (Tr. 91). Plaintiff also admitted abusing
cocaine and mushrooms as a minor. (Tr. 97).
of Material Medical opinions
treating physicians support Plaintiff's claims regarding
mood disorder, PTSD, anxiety, substance abuse, (Tr. 409-12,
468-69, 481-84). Plaintiff's treating physicians
recommended a number of accommodations to benefit Plaintiff
at school. (Tr. 467, 469).
Agency physician Alice Lingen reviewed Plaintiff's
medical records. (See Tr. 115). Dr. Lingen concluded
Plaintiff's ADHD was severe, but did not meet, medically
equal, or functionally equal the ADHD Listing 112.11. (Tr.
Agency physician Melvin Sawyer independently reviewed
Plaintiff's medical records. (Tr. 125). Similar to Dr.
Lingen, Dr. Sawyer concluded Plaintiff's ADHD was severe,
but did not meet, medically equal, or functionally equal the
ADHD Listing 112.11. (Tr. 125-27).
STATEMENT OF RELEVANT LAW
was under the age of eighteen when he filed his application
for benefits and attained age eighteen before the date of the
ALJ's decision. Accordingly, the ALJ considered whether
Plaintiff was disabled while he was a minor and an adult.