United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
B. Pead, United States Magistrate Judge
parties consented to this court's jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. 636(c). (ECF No. 11). Currently pending before the
court is Plaintiff Danielle Mayhew's
(“Plaintiff”) appeal of the Commissioner of
Social Security's (“Commissioner”) decision
denying Plaintiff's claim for Supplemental Social
Security Income. Having considered the parties' briefs,
the administrative record, and the relevant law, this court
AFFIRMS the Commissioner's decision.
applied for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits and
Supplemental Social Security Income on October 9, 2012. (Tr.
248). Plaintiff's application was denied initially and on
reconsideration. (Tr. 96, 120-22). On July 24, 2014, ALJ
Kathleen H. Switzer issued her decision denying benefits to
Plaintiff. (Tr. 13-25). The Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review, making it the
agency's final decision. (Tr. 1-3). Plaintiff then filed
the present suit.
was 23 years old on her alleged onset date in January 2007.
(Tr. 248). Plaintiff completed some college in 2006, but did
not obtain a college degree. (Tr. 288, 1104). Plaintiff
previously worked as a server. (Tr. 93).
Statements and Testimony
reported that, on an average day, she performs a variety of
daily activities including child care, cooking, sweeping,
vacuuming, mopping, shopping, and socializing with friends
and family. (ECF No. 15 at 2). Plaintiff also reported she
tires easily during these activities, is forgetful and
anxious, does not like to be outside alone, and has
difficulty concentrating. (Id.) She engages in
hobbies that include watching television, writing, typing,
and listening to music, all without problems. (Id.)
Plaintiff stated she had no issues following written or
spoken instructions, or getting along with authority figures.
(Id.) At times, Plaintiff reported worsening
symptoms, but similar levels of functioning. (Id.)
mother reported Plaintiff cared for her young daughter and
helped with housework throughout the day, but that she tired
easily and was often anxious and agitated. (Id.)
Plaintiff also cared for the dog and cats, sometimes taking
the dog for walks. (Id.) Plaintiff's mother
reported Plaintiff had no issues with personal care,
preparing her own meals, cleaning and laundry (if not in
pain), and that she shopped weekly; though she did not drive,
needed reminders to take medication and had emotional
outbursts. (Id. at 2-3).
November 2015 hearing, Plaintiff testified she had been
addicted to pain medications, spice (synthetic marijuana),
and anti-anxiety medications, but had stopped abusing pain
medication four months prior to the hearing. (Id. at
3). She reported worsening symptoms of anxiety beginning
after she was raped in late 2012, but she stopped all
psychiatric medications “cold turkey” and
reported increased crying since doing so. (Id.)
Plaintiff said she had only two good days per week, but she
was able to take her daughter to school and go shopping,
attending parent-teacher conferences, and school programs.
sought mental health treatment from various providers between
2012 and 2015, including Valley Mental Health, Silverado
Counseling, and Aspen Ridge Counseling. (Id.) After
she requested a mental health evaluation from Valley Mental
Health, and a document stating she could not work, Plaintiff
chose not to engage in treatment beyond the initial
evaluation. (Id.) Plaintiff was admitted to the
hospital in February 2013 for suicidal and homicidal
ideation. (Id.) She was diagnosed with depression,
PTSD, and anxiety. (Id. at 3-4). She was discharged
in stable condition after making significant progress during
her stay. (Id. at 4). Plaintiff was admitted to the
hospital again in June 2013 for a suicide attempt via
overdose. (Id. at 3-4). She was diagnosed with
recurrent major depression and improved with treatment.
(Id. at 4).
Opinions of Record
Plaintiff reported to consultative examiner Tanya Colledge,
Psy. D. that the present application represents her third
attempt to apply for disability benefits. (Id.)
Plaintiff also reported she stopped working in 2008 when her
daughter was born. (Id.) Plaintiff admitted a
history of marijuana and spice abuse, but claimed she had
been clean since 2011. (Id.) She reported past
traumas, including being physically and sexually abused by
her stepfather during childhood, and being raped twice.
(Id.) She also reported her 2013 psychiatric
hospitalizations. (Id.) Plaintiff said she spent her
days getting her daughter ready for school, transporting her
to and from school, completing household chores, cooking
meals, and watching television. (Id.) Dr. Colledge
noted that Plaintiff was cooperative, oriented, logical, and
coherent, with normal memory, speech, and thought content;
she displayed appropriate affect, an adequate fund of
knowledge, attention, concentration, and language, and
unimpaired abstract reasoning, judgment and insight.
(Id.) Dr. Colledge noted Plaintiff was able to
maintain attention for the duration of the examination
(approximately two-and-one-half hours) and meaningfully
participate in the process. (Id.) Dr. Colledge found
Plaintiff to be of low-average intellectual functioning and
that she could generally remember simple instructions (and
some multi-step instructions), but presented with “an
impaired capacity to tolerate work stress.”
(Id. at 4-5).
2013 state agency psychologist, Garrett Chesley, Ph.D.,
reviewed Plaintiff's records and opined she was capable
of simple work with low social interaction. (Id. at
5). A second state agency psychologist, Charles Raps, ...