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Jones-Carlson v. Colvin

United States District Court, District of Oregon, Portland Division

December 15, 2014

STEPHANI JONES-CARLSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

JAMES A. REDDEN United States District Judge

Plaintiff Stephani Jones-Carlson brings this action to obtain judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration ("Commissioner") denying her claim for Supplemental Security Income benefits. For the reasons set forth below, the decision of the Commissioner is affirmed and this matter is dismissed.

BACKGROUND

Jones-Carlson filed her application on January 12, 2010, alleging disability since November 6, 1998, due to "adhd, depression, sleep disorder, bipolar I, acid reflux disease." Tr. 78. Born in 1992, Jones-Carlson was 6 years old on her alleged onset date . Her application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. A hearing was held on March 6, 2012. Tr. 40-62. The Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") found her not disabled. Jones-Carlson's request for review was denied, making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner.

ALJ's DECISION

The ALJ found that, before attaining age 18, Jones-Carlson had the medically determinable severe impairments of borderline intellectual functioning; bipolar disorder; and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tr. 20.

The ALJ found that, before attaining age 18, Jones-Carlson's impairments did not meet or medically equal one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, App. 1. Id.

The ALJ determined that, since attaining age 18, Jones-Carlson retained the residual functional capacity ("RFC") to perform a full range of work at all exertional levels but is limited to simple routine tasks, and is limited to only occasional contact with the public. Tr. 34.

At step five, the ALJ found Jones-Carlson was capable of performing work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy, including wire worker and sorter. Tr. 35.

Jones-Carlson argues that the ALJ erred by finding that, prior to attaining the age of 18, she was markedly limited in her ability to interact with and relate to others, but after attaining the age of 18, she was not so limited,

MEDICAL EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONY

Treating physician Lyle R. Torguson, M, D. diagnosed Bipolar disorder with adjustment disorder and some social situational barriers in May 2008. Tr. 260. Plaintiffs mother requested a letter stating Plaintiff required adult supervision 24 hours a day, but Dr. Torguson disagreed. In September 2008, Dr. Torguson reported mood/behavior was good on Seroquel, though Plaintiff was not sleeping. In October 2008, the medicine was no longer working, and Plaintiff was anxious and irritable. Tr. 256. In November Dr. Torguson changed the prescription to add Trileptal to control bipolar disorder, and noted mild cognitive problems. Tr. 254.

In December 2008 Dr. Torguson said Plaintiff was "doing relatively well, " with a good affect, Tr. 252. On December 17, 2012, Dr. Torguson signed a letter addressed "To Whom it May Concern" in which he stated that due to mental health, medical, and cognitive issues Plaintiff could not be allowed to be alone unsupervised by an adult. Tr. 251.

In January 2009 Plaintiff was seen in the emergency room for hand pain after punching a wall. Tr. 212. In April 2009 Dr. Torguson noted Plaintiff s ...


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