United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Middle Division
MICHAEL PUTNAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
plaintiff, Katherine Duckworth, seeks review of the decision
of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(“Commissioner”) denying her application for a
period of disability, Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) and Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”). Duckworth timely pursued and exhausted
her administrative remedies, and the decision of the
Commissioner is ripe for review pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g), 1383(c)(3). The parties have consented
to the exercise of dispositive jurisdiction by a United
States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
was 50 years old on the date of the ALJ's opinion on June
29, 2016. (Tr. at 20, 242). She completed the ninth grade,
while attending special education classes. (Tr. at 274). Her
past work experience includes employment as a
cashier/checker, waitress, housekeeper/cleaner, dishwasher,
and short order cook. (Tr. at 81, 274). Duckworth claims that
she became disabled on July 3, 2014, due to “bipolar
disorder, shortness of breath, [and] heart attack.”
(Tr. at 273).
evaluating the disability of individuals over the age of
eighteen, the regulations prescribe a five-step sequential
evaluation process. See 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520, 416.920; see also Doughty v. Apfel, 245
F.3d 1274, 1278 (11th Cir. 2001). The first step requires a
determination of whether the claimant is “doing
substantial gainful activity.” 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520(a)(4)(i), 416.920(a)(4)(i). If she is, the claimant
is not disabled and the evaluation stops. Id. If she
is not, the Commissioner next considers the effect of all of
the physical and mental impairments combined. 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(a)(4)(ii), 416.920(a)(4)(ii). These
impairments must be severe and must meet the durational
requirements before a claimant will be found to be disabled.
Id. The decision depends on the medical evidence in
the record. See Hart v. Finch, 440 F.2d 1340, 1341
(5th Cir. 1971). If the claimant's impairments are not
severe, the analysis stops. 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520(a)(4)(ii), 416.920(a)(4)(ii). Otherwise, the
analysis continues to step three, which is a determination of
whether the claimant's impairments meet or equal the
severity of an impairment listed in 20 C.F.R. Part 404,
Subpart P, Appendix 1. 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520(a)(4)(iii), 416.920(a)(4)(iii). If the
claimant's impairments fall within this category, she
will be found disabled without further consideration.
Id. If they do not, a determination of the
claimant's residual functional capacity will be made and
the analysis proceeds to the fourth step. 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(e), 416.920(e). Residual functional
capacity (“RFC”) is an assessment, based on all
relevant evidence, of a claimant's remaining ability to
do work despite her impairments. 20 C.F.R. §
fourth step requires a determination of whether the
claimant's impairments prevent her from returning to past
relevant work. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(iv),
416.920(a)(4)(iv). If the claimant can still do her past
relevant work, the claimant is not disabled and the
evaluation stops. Id. If the claimant cannot do past
relevant work, then the analysis proceeds to the fifth step.
Id. Step five requires the Commissioner to consider
the claimant's RFC, as well as the claimant's age,
education, and past work experience, in order to determine if
she can do other work. 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520(a)(4)(v), 416.920(a)(4)(v). If the claimant can do
other work, the claimant is not disabled. Id. The
burden is on the Commissioner to demonstrate that other jobs
exist which the claimant can perform; and, once that burden
is met, the claimant must prove her inability to perform
those jobs in order to be found disabled. Jones v.
Apfel, 190 F.3d 1224, 1228 (11th Cir. 1999).
the sequential evaluation process, the ALJ found that
Duckworth meets the nondisability requirements for a period
of disability and DIB and was insured through September 14,
2014. (Tr. at 25). She further determined that Duckworth has
not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged
onset date of her disability. (Tr. at 25). According to the
ALJ, the plaintiff has the following impairments that are
considered “severe” based on the requirements set
forth in the regulations: “[m]orbid obesity,
asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depressive
disorder with anxiety, borderline intellectual functioning,
and mild degenerative joint disease of the left elbow.”
(Tr. at 25). However, she found that these impairments
neither meet nor medically equal any of the listed
impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
(Tr. at 27). The ALJ determined that Duckworth has the
following residual functional capacity:
After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that
the claimant has the residual functional capacity to
stand/walk six hours in an eight-hour day; sit six hours in
an eight-hour day; and lift/carry twenty pounds occasionally
and ten pounds frequently. She can occasionally stoop, kneel,
crouch, crawl, and climb ramps and stairs; never climb
ladders, ropes, or scaffolding and occasionally be exposed to
dusts, fumes, odors, gases and poor ventilation. She can
understand, remember, and carry out simple instructions;
maintain attention and concentration for a two hour time
period in order to complete an eight-hour workday; adapt to
changes in the workforce that are introduced gradually and
infrequently; maintain occasional interaction with co-workers
and the general-public; and is expected to miss no greater
than one to two days of work per month.
(Tr. at 34).
to the ALJ, Duckworth is unable to perform any of her past
relevant work, she is “approaching advanced age,
” and she has a “limited education, ” as
those terms are defined by the regulations. (Tr. at 37). She
determined that “[t]ransferability of job skills is not
material to the determination of disability because using the
Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding
that the claimant is ‘not disabled,' whether or not
the claimant has transferable job skills.” (Tr. at 37).
The ALJ found that Duckworth has the residual functional
capacity to perform light “work that exists in
significant numbers in the national economy.” (Tr. at
38). Even though additional limitations impede
Plaintiff's “residual functional capacity to
perform the full range of light work, ” the ALJ
determined that Plaintiff “would be able to perform the
requirements of representative occupations such as a[n]
inserter...; hand bander...; and bakery worker... .”
(Tr. at 34). The ALJ concluded her findings by stating that
Plaintiff “has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from July 3, 2014, through the
date of this decision.” (Tr. at 38).
Standard of Review
court's role in reviewing claims brought under the Social
Security Act is a narrow one. The scope of its review is
limited to determining (1) whether there is substantial
evidence in the record as a whole to support the findings of
the Commissioner, and (2) whether the correct legal standards
were applied. See Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S.
389, 390, 401 (1971); Wilson v. Barnhart, 284 F.3d
1219, 1221 (11th Cir. 2002). The court approaches the factual
findings of the Commissioner with deference, but applies
close scrutiny to the legal conclusions. See Miles v.
Chater, 84 F.3d 1397, 1400 (11th Cir. 1996).
“Substantial evidence is more than a scintilla and is
such relevant evidence as a reasonable person would accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.” Mitchell v.
Commissioner, Soc. Sec. Admin., 771 F.3d 780, 782 (11th
Cir. 2014). The court may not decide facts, weigh evidence,
or substitute its judgment for that of the Commissioner.
Miles, 84 F.3d at 1400. “The substantial
evidence standard permits administrative decision makers to
act with considerable latitude, and ‘the possibility of
drawing two inconsistent conclusions from the evidence does
not prevent an administrative agency's finding from being
supported by substantial evidence.'” Parker v.
Bowen, 793 F.2d 1177, 1181 (11th Cir. 1986) (Gibson, J.,
dissenting) (quoting Consolo v. Federal Mar.
Comm'n, 383 U.S. 607, 620 (1966)). Indeed, even if
this court finds that the evidence preponderates against the
Commissioner's decision, the court must affirm if the
decision is supported by substantial evidence.
Miles, 84 F.3d at 1400. No decision is automatic,
however, for “despite this deferential standard [for
review of claims] it is imperative that the Court scrutinize
the record in its entirety to determine the reasonableness of
the decision reached.” Bridges v. Bowen, 815
F.2d 622, 624 (11th Cir. 1987). Moreover, failure to apply
the correct legal standards is grounds for reversal. See
Bowen v. Heckler, 748 F.2d 629, 635 (11th Cir. 1984).
argues that the ALJ's decision should be reversed and
remanded for six reasons. First, Duckworth asserts that she
meets the requirements of Listing 12.05C. Second, the
plaintiff contends that the ALJ failed to afford proper
weight to the evidence and opinions examining psychologists.
Third, the plaintiff maintains that the ALJ improperly
assigned more weight to the non-examining physician than to
the examining psychologists. Fourth, the plaintiff asserts
that that ALJ erroneously concluded that the plaintiff's
subjective complaints regarding her symptoms were not
entirely credible. Fifth, the plaintiff contends that the
ALJ's decision is not based upon substantial evidence
because the hypothetical questions presented to the
vocational expert (“VE”) did not accurately set
forth the plaintiff's limitations. Sixth and finally,
Duckworth maintains that the ALJ's finding that she
retains an RFC to perform light work is not supported by
A. Listing 12.05C
argues that she meets Listing 12.05C because she has a full
scale IQ of 69 (as scored by Dr. Wilson in April 2014), in
addition to depression and anxiety, mental impairments that
impose significant limitations on her ability to work. The
Commissioner argues that substantial evidence supports the
ALJ's determination that the plaintiff failed to
establish deficits in adaptive functioning, which are
required for a finding of disability under Listing 12.05C.
“meet” a listing at the third step of the
analysis, the claimant must have an impairment that
“satisfies all of the criteria of that listing”
and meets the durational requirements. 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1524(c)(3), 416.925(c)(3). Under Listing 12.05C,
ALJ must first determine whether the claimant has
“significantly subaverage intellectual functioning with
deficits in adaptive functioning initially manifested during
the developmental period; i.e., the evidence
demonstrates or supports onset of the impairment before age
22.” In Jones v. Soc. Sec. Admin.,
Comm'r, the Eleventh Circuit stated that,
[a]lthough the Social Security regulations do not define
“deficits in adaptive functioning, ” the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders states
that adaptive functioning refers “to how well a person
meets standards of personal independence and social
responsibility, in comparison to others of similar age and
sociocultural background. Adaptive functioning involves
adaptive reasoning in three domains: conceptual, social, and
695 Fed.Appx. 507, 509 n.3 (11th Cir. 2017) (quoting Am.
Psychiatric Ass'n, Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders 37 (5th ed. 2013)). In other words,
“adaptive functioning ‘refers to how effectively
individuals cope with common life demands and how well they
meet the standards of personal independence expected of
someone in their particular age group, sociological
background, and community setting.'” O'Neal
v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 614 Fed.Appx. 456, 459 (11th
Cir. 2015) (quoting Am. Psychiatric Ass'n, Diagnostic
& Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 42 (4th ed.,
Text Revision, 2000)).
satisfying the first three requirements, Listing 12.05C
further provides that “[t]he required level of severity
for this disorder is met when the evidence demonstrates . . .
[a] valid verbal, performance or full scale IQ of 60 through
70 and a physical or other impairment imposing an additional
and significant work-related limitation of
function.” A claimant is conclusively presumed to be
disabled if she meets or equals the level of severity of the
listed impairment. Perkins v. Comm'r, Soc. Sec.
Admin., 553 Fed.Appx. 870, 872 (11th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Crayton v. Callahan, 120 F.3d 1217, 1219 (11th Cir.
1997)). However, “[a] valid IQ score does not have to
be conclusive of [an intellectual disability] where the IQ
score is inconsistent with other record evidence regarding
the claimant's daily living activities and
behavior.” Perkins, 553 Fed.Appx. at 873.
Additionally, the Eleventh Circuit has held that Listing
12.05C generally is met “when . . . evidence of an
additional mental or physical impairment that has more than
‘minimal effect' on the claimant's ability to
perform basic work activities.” Monroe v.
Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 504 Fed.Appx. 808, 810
(11th Cir. 2013) (quoting Lowery v. Sullivan, 979
F.2d 835, 837 (11th Cir. 1992)).
Eleventh Circuit has described the step-three analysis
required by Listing 12.05 as follows:
To meet listing 12.05 (“intellectual
disability”), “a claimant must at least (1) have
significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning;
(2) have deficits in adaptive behavior; and (3) have
manifested deficits in adaptive behavior before age
22.” Crayton, 120 F.3d at 1219. These
requirements are referred to as the listing's
“diagnostic criteria.” See 20 C.F.R. pt. 404,
subpt. P, app. 1, § 12.00 (“Listing 12.05 contains
an introductory paragraph with the diagnostic description for
[intellectual disability].”) In addition to satisfying
the diagnostic criteria, a claimant must meet one of the four
severity requirements in paragraphs A through D of the
listing. See Id. § 12.05. Under paragraph C,
the only paragraph at issue here, a claimant must show that
she has both “[a] valid verbal, performance, or full
scale IQ of 60 through 70 and a physical or other mental
impairment imposing an additional and significant
work-related limitation of function.”
A valid IQ score of 60 to 70 satisfies the first prong of
paragraph C and creates a rebuttable presumption that the
claimant satisfies the diagnostic criteria for intellectual
disability. See Hodges v. Barnhart, 276 F.3d 1265,
1268-69 (11th Cir. 2001). At the same time, it is well
established that such a presumption does not arise where a
qualifying IQ score is inconsistent with other record
evidence concerning her daily activities and behavior.
Lowery v. Sullivan, 979 F.2d 835, 837 (11th Cir.
1992) (citing Popp v. Heckler, 779 F.2d 1497, 1499
(11th Cir. 1986)). But once the ALJ accepts an IQ score as
valid and finds that the claimant's impairments meet or
medically equal the other criteria of listing 12.05C, the
disability determination cannot be based on the
claimant's age, education, or work experience.
In sum, a claimant proves that she meets listing 12.05C by
establishing the diagnostic criteria for intellectual
disability, including deficits in adaptive
functioning; showing onset before age 22; producing a
valid, qualifying IQ score; and exhibiting the requisite
deficits in work-related functioning.
Frame v. Comm'r, Soc. Sec. Admin., 596 Fed.Appx.
908, 910-11 (11th Cir. 2015) (italics added for emphasis).
the ALJ is permitted to consider evidence that is
inconsistent with a finding of intellectual disability, an
ability to perform work for several years does not rebut the
intellectual disability where “there is no evidence
that [the job held is] beyond the reach of a mildly retarded
individual.” Durham v. Apfel, 34 F.Supp.2d
1373, 1380 (N.D.Ga. 1998). Moreover, a finding that a
claimant worked in the past, and even that a claimant could
return to her past work, does not preclude an award of
benefits where the claimant meets or equals a Listing.
Durham, 34 F.Supp.2d at 1381.
determined that Duckworth did not have deficits in adaptive
functioning, thereby avoiding the need to analyze the
validity of the full scale IQ score. Specifically, the ALJ
The claimant has at most borderline intellectual functioning
instead of an intellectual disability. Dr. Wilson's
testing provided low test scores concerning the
claimant's IQ. However, as explained above, the claimant
would only have an intellectual disability if the claimant
had significant subaverage general intellectual functioning
and have deficits in adaptive functioning. The claimant took
and passed her driving test, which required knowledge of
traffic laws and codes. The claimant worked in semi-skilled
jobs. A review of the claimant's work history documents
that the claimant was previously able to engage in work
activity at the semiskilled level, as reported by the
vocational expert. Working at a semi-skilled level appears
inconsistent with Dr. Wilson's extreme limitations.
Furthermore, the claimant has been able to run a household
(Exhibits D7E and D5E). The claimant stated that she assists
her husband in getting ready for work, she is able to do
daily activities such as cleaning, doing laundry, taking care
of animals, shopping in stores and cooking. The claimant also
indicated that she takes care of her twenty-two year old
stepdaughter, whom the claimant describes as slow. The
claimant is also able to pay bills and maintain a checkbook
and/or procure money orders. The claimant's intellect is
described as "average" in the Quality of Life
medical notes (Exhibit D7F).
. . .
The claimant was in special education classes during her
school years. Nonetheless, the claimant stated that she has
taken care of her husband for of over 17 years. The claimant
gets up with her husband and assists him, as he gets ready
for work. Additionally, the claimant noted that she takes
care of her 22-year-old stepdaughter who is "slow".
Nevertheless, the claimant's prepares good meals each day
and does house cleaning. Additionally, the claimant can shop
for food. The claimant and her husband indicated that the
claimant could pay bills and use a checkbook/money order. The
claimant and her husband related that the claimant could
drive and go out alone. The claimant was able to obtain a
driver's license and has worked several jobs including a
cashier/checker and short order cook that were semiskilled
jobs, as classified by the vocational expert. Therefore, I
find that the claimant does not meet the introductory
paragraph in Listing 12.00, which is a prerequisite to
meeting the other section 12.05 requirements. Therefore, the
claimant does not meet section 12.05 listing.
(Tr. at 31, 34).
case, substantial evidence supports the ALJ's
determination that Duckworth did not establish deficits in
adaptive functioning. Because the ALJ may rely upon the
plaintiff's work experience and daily activities and
behavior to analyze any deficits in adaptive functioning, as
she did here, record evidence supports each of the ALJ's
findings regarding Duckworth's adaptive functioning.
Perkins, 553 Fed.Appx. at 873. As the ALJ pointed
out, the plaintiff's abilities to assist her husband and
to take care of her stepdaughter, in addition to driving,
shopping, maintaining finances, and working semi-skilled
jobs, indicate that the plaintiff was not socially dependent
on others entirely. Any true deficits in adaptive functioning
were minimal at best. Although Duckworth puts forward
evidence which contradicts the ALJ's determination,
namely her husband's testimony regarding the conflicts
that Duckworth has when she encounters people in public, the
court may not reweigh the evidence even if the evidence in
the record supports inconsistent results. Miles, 84
F.3d at 1400; Parker, 793 F.2d at 1181 (Gibson, J.,
dissenting) (quoting Consolo v. Federal Mar.
Comm'n, 383 U.S. 607, 620 (1966)). Furthermore, the
plaintiff points to the mental health source statements
(“MHSS”) submitted by Dr. Wilson and Ms.
Phillips, LCSW, who both concluded that Duckworth
“[c]annot maintain socially appropriate behavior/adhere
to basic standards of neatness/cleanliness.” (Tr. at
396-97). As will be explained in more detail below, the ALJ
afforded little weight to each MHSS. For example, Ms.
Phillips's treatment notes indicated that Duckworth's
appearance was appropriate, which contradicts her and Dr.
Wilson's opinions about Duckworth's neatness and
cleanliness. (Tr. at 530, 532, 538, 540, 557, 564, 573, 576).
Accordingly, because there is substantial evidence to support
the ALJ's determination that Duckworth did not have
deficits in adaptive functioning, there is no error in
finding that her mental functioning did not meet Listing
Examining and Non-Examining Sources
argues that the ALJ failed to afford proper weight to her
examining psychologists, Dr. Wilson and Dr. Nichols, and to
her treating therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Kristy Phillips, with regard to Duckworth's ability to
interact with the public and co-workers. She asserts that the
ALJ substituted her own judgment for that of a medical
expert. Furthermore, Duckworth argues that the ALJ
impermissibly afforded more weight to a non- examining
physician, Dr. Williams, than to her examining psychologists
and treating therapist. The Commissioner argues that
substantial evidence supports the ALJ's weighing of the
prevailing law, the ALJ must consider several factors in
determining the weight to be given to a medical opinion. The
weight to be afforded a medical opinion regarding the nature
and severity of a claimant's impairments depends, among
other things, upon the examining and treating relationship
the medical source had with the claimant, the evidence the
medical source presents to support the opinion, how
consistent the opinion is with the record as a whole, and the
specialty of the medical source. See 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1527(d), 416.927(d). Different types of
medical sources are entitled to differing weights. 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1527(c). The opinion of a treating physician, who
has an ongoing relationship with the patient, is entitled to
the greatest weight. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(c)(2). A
non-treating physician or psychologist, who has examined the
patient but does not treat the patient, is entitled to less
weight. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(c)(1)-(2). The least weight
is given to a non-examining physician, who may provide an
opinion based on a review of the medical the record but who
has not examined the patient. 20 C.F.R. §
404.1527(c)(1). Any medical source's opinion may be
rejected where the evidence supports a contrary conclusion.
See, e.g., McCloud v. Barnhart, 166
Fed.Appx. 410, 418-19 (11th Cir. 2008).
treating physician's testimony is entitled to
“substantial or considerable weight unless ‘good
cause' is shown to the contrary.” Crawford v.
Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 363 F.3d 1155, 1159 (11th Cir.
2004) (quoting Lewis v. Callahan, 125 F.3d 1436,
1440 (11th Cir. 1997)) (internal quotations omitted).
“Good cause” exists for an ALJ not to give a
treating physician's opinion substantial weight when the:
“(1) treating physician's opinion was not bolstered
by the evidence; (2) evidence supported a contrary finding;
or (3) treating physician's opinion was conclusory or
inconsistent with the doctor's own medical
records.” Phillips v. Barnhart, 357 F.3d 1232,
1241 (11th Cir. 2004) (citing Lewis, 125 F.3d at
1440); see also Edwards v. Sullivan, 937 F.2d 580,
583-84 (11th Cir. 1991) (holding that “good
cause” existed where the opinion was contradicted by
other notations in the physician's own record).
an ALJ may consider evidence from “other sources,
” such as licensed clinical social workers, “to
show the severity of [the claimant's] impairments and how
it affects [the claimant's] ability to work.” 20
C.F.R. § 404.1513(d) (2016); Social Security Ruling
(“SSR”) 06-03p, 2006 WL 2329939, at *1 (Aug. 9,
2006). An ALJ may consider the factors listed in
20 C.F.R. § 404.1527 in evaluating the opinions from
“other sources.” SSR 06-03p, 2006 WL 2329939, at
[f]or opinions from sources such as teachers, counselors, and
social workers who are not medical sources, and other
non-medical professionals, it would be appropriate to
consider such factors as the nature and extent of the
relationship between the source and the individual, the
source's qualifications, the source's area of
specialty or expertise, the degree to which the source
presents relevant evidence to support his or her opinion,
whether the opinion is consistent with other evidence, and
any other factors that tend to support or refute the opinion.
SSR 06-03p, 2006 WL 2329939, at *5.
Court also must be aware that opinions such as whether a
claimant is disabled, the claimant's residual functional
capacity, and the application of vocational factors
“are not medical opinions, … but are, instead,
opinions on issues reserved to the Commissioner because they
are administrative findings that are dispositive of a case;
i.e., that would direct the determination or decision of
disability.” 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1527(e),
416.927(d). The Court is interested in the doctors'
evaluations of the claimant's “condition and the
medical consequences thereof, not their opinions of the legal
consequences of his [or her] condition.”
Lewis, 125 F.3d at 1440. Such statements by a
physician are relevant to the ALJ's findings, but they
are not determinative, as it is the ALJ who bears the
responsibility for assessing a claimant's residual
functional capacity. See, e.g., 20 C.F.R. §
Wilson and Ms. Phillips's Opinions
plaintiff contends that Mental Health Source Statements
provided by Dr. Wilson and Ms. Phillips indicate that
Duckworth cannot interact with the public even on an
occasional basis. (Doc. 17 at 24-27). In her decision, the
ALJ addressed Dr. Wilson and Ms. Phillips's opinions as
In the case at hand, Dr. Wilson noted that the claimant drove
herself to the evaluation and had a valid driver's
license. Dr. Wilson noted that the claimant's affect was
irritable and she replied being "sad most of the
time". Dr. Wilson related that the claimant reported
that she had "three personalities". However, he
related that the claimant cleans the house, watches
television, and crochets blankets. Dr. Wilson stated that the
claimant has a significant reduction in social engagement and
reduced energy and activity. However, the claimant denied
serious problems with her concentration and memory. Dr.
Wilson reported the claimant had serious problems with
feelings of worthlessness and there was evidence of anhedonia
and restriction of activities. Dr. Wilson opined that the
claimant had significant cognitive deficits with extremely
deficient verbal skills, and very poor working memory and
processing speed. Dr. Wilson opined that the claimant's
ability to withstand the pressures of day-to-day occupational
functioning was highly impaired and she would have difficulty
with the interpersonal and task aspects of any job. Moreover,
he reported that the claimant would likely have serious
problems getting along with other people on the job.
Furthermore, Dr. Wilson submitted a mental health related
medical source statement on April 2, 2014, which indicated
that the claimant had difficulty maintaining attention and
concentration or performing activities within a schedule
(Exhibit B3F). He stated that the claimant could not sustain
an ordinary routine without special supervision; accept
instructions and respond appropriately to criticism from
supervisors; or maintain socially appropriate behavior and
adhere to basic standards of neatness and claimant's
[sic]. He stated that claimant would miss 30 days of work out
of a month due to her psychological symptoms.
. . .
A review of the claimant's actual longitudinal treatment
record fails to support the extreme limitations as opined by
Dr. Wilson. On April 8, 2014, Kristy Phillips, LCSW, the
claimant's mental health social worker, reported that the
claimant was oriented to person, place, time, and situation
(Exhibit D7F). Ms. Phillips described the claimant's
behavior as unremarkable. The claimant's speech and
affect were appropriate. The claimant's memory was intact
and the claimant's attention was gained and maintained.
Ms. Phillips noted that the claimant's thought processes
were logical and thought content was unremarkable. In fact,
Ms. Phillips rated the claimant's GAF level at 60, which
represents only moderate symptomology. For the reasons stated
above, I give Ms. Phillips' GAF rating only some weight.
On the other hand, Ms. Phillips also submitted a statement on
May 13, 2014, stating that the claimant was unable to
understand, remember, or carry out even very short and simple
instructions (Exhibit D4F). She related that the claimant did
not maintain attention, concentration, and/or pace for a
period of at least two hours. Moreover, she related that the
claimant did not maintain socially appropriate behavior and
adhere to basic standards ...