Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Labor v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Northern Division

January 11, 2017

BRENDON G. LABOR PLAINTIFF
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         Plaintiff Brendon G. Labor (“Labor”) began the case at bar by filing a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 405(g). In the complaint, he challenged the final decision of the Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (“Commissioner”), a decision based upon findings made by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”).

         Labor maintains that the ALJ's findings are not supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole and offers two reasons why.[1] Labor first maintains that his impairments include borderline intellectual functioning, and the ALJ erred at step two of the sequential evaluation process when he failed to find that the impairment is severe.

         At step two, the ALJ is required to identify the claimant's impairments and determine whether they are severe. An impairment is severe if it has “more than a minimal effect on the claimant's ability to work.” See Henderson v. Sullivan, 930 F.2d 19, 21 (8th Cir. 1992) [internal quotations omitted]. Once a claimant's impairments are identified, and it is determined that they do not meet or equal a listed impairment, the ALJ is required to consider all of the claimant's impairments, both severe and non-severe, in assessing his residual functional capacity.

         The evidence relevant to Labor's intellectual functioning is not voluminous. The evidence reflects that in September of 1988, or approximately twenty-five years before the alleged onset date, Labor was seen by a school psychologist for an evaluation and a determination of whether Labor should continue in special education classes. See Transcript at 309-311.[2] The psychologist administered Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (“WAIS”) testing, and it indicated that Labor had a verbal IQ of seventy-six, a performance IQ of seventy-one, and a full scale IQ of seventy-three.

         In March of 1993, Labor was seen for an assessment of his intellectual functioning. See Transcript at 367-372. A psychological examiner administered WAIS testing, and Labor's scores included a performance IQ of sixty-six. The psychological examiner's conclusions and recommendations were as follows:

         Findings indicate generally below average intellectual and academic ability.

Mr. Labor appears to be within the [b]orderline range of intellectual functioning with significant deficits in his ability to make appropriate social judgments and respond in a socially adequate manner. This deficit will make it difficult for Mr. Labor to function adequately in a vocational setting for any sustained period of time. Semi-skilled training, such as that which might be available at a local vocational-technical training facility, is feasible. Extensive vocational and personal guidance and assistance are needed. Provided these services, Mr. Labor may reasonably be expected to sustain independent functioning by means of low-demand employment. Mr. Labor's test performance is commensurate with expectations deprived from the demonstrated level of formal education and reported academic history.

See Transcript at 372.

         In July of 1995, Labor was seen by a psychologist for intelligence testing. See Transcript at 362-363. The psychologist administered WAIS testing, and Labor's scores included a performance IQ of sixty-nine. The psychologist diagnosed a chronic adjustment disorder, mild mental retardation, and a dependent personality disorder.

         The record is silent as to any other testing of Labor's intellectual functioning until April of 2013 when he was seen by Dr. Nancy Bunting, Ph.D., (“Bunting”). See Transcript at 328-333. She administered WAIS testing, and his scores included a full scale IQ of sixty-eight. Although she discounted the accuracy of the score, she nevertheless diagnosed, inter alia, a “mathematics disorder.” See Transcript at 331.[3] With respect to the effects of the disorder on his adaptive functioning, she opined the following:

The patient's mother drove him to the appointment today. He had [a driver's] license in 2004 but said he only drove on familiar road locally by himself because he was “not good with directions.” He now shops with his mother in the month he has been out of prison, and he said that previously in 2004 he shopped by himself with no problems, e.g., for his sports autograph collection. He has never used a checkbook. He said he paid his own bills on time in 2004 when he had his own apartment. He has always had difficulties making change. He can do household chores like washing dishes, doing laundry, sweeping or vacuuming, and cleaning. He claimed to only use a microwave, but it was not clear if that was because that was all that had been available. He spends his time fixing up the house where they are living, e.g., painting, doing yard work, watching television, listening to the radio and other music, using the Xbox to play NASCAR games, and reading the newspaper and sports books for one hour at a time. He used to have an autograph collection from various sports figures, but now he enjoys just going to the Wal-Mart with his mother.
The patient reported he has friends but is not involved in church or any other group. He has contact with his one neighbor.
The patient communicated and interacted in an immature, but adequate, manner.
The patient communicated in an intelligible and effective manner ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.