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Pacy v. Colvin

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

May 3, 2016

ROBERT PACY, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON MOTION TO REMAND TO AGENCY (DOC. NO. 15) AND MOTION FOR ORDER AFFIRMING DECISION OF THE COMMISSIONER (DOC. NO. 17)

Leo T. Sorokin United States District Judge

Robert Pacy (“Pacy”) brings this action against Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (“The Commissioner”), asking this Court to either reverse or remand the Commissioner’s final decision denying Pacy Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits. Doc. No. 15. The Commissioner moves to affirm that decision. Doc. No. 17. Pacy filed a response to the Commissioner’s motion. Doc. No. 21. After careful consideration of the parties’ briefs and arguments, Pacy’s motion is DENIED and the Commissioner’s motion is ALLOWED.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Facts

1. Initial Onset

Pacy was fifty-one years old on the date of the alleged onset of disability. Tr. at 180.[1]He has completed the eleventh grade of school, id. at 199, and has no relevant vocational history. Id. at 21. He has been in and out of hospitals with symptoms stemming from his alcohol consumption and dependency. Id. at 251, 289. At the onset of his alleged disability, Pacy drank one-and-a-half pints of whisky daily. Id. at 254.

2. Medical Evidence

a. Dr. Morin’s Consultative Examination and Findings

After his initial hospital visit and physical consultative examination, Disability Determination Services referred Pacy to Dr. Gregory Morin (“Dr. Morin”), who conducted a psychological consultative evaluation on July 7, 2012. See id. at 305-11. Dr. Morin noted that although Pacy was anxious and occasionally fidgety, it did not affect his concentration on testing. Id. at 305. He had good access to his long-term memory. Id. Pacy attributed his reading problems due to visual tracking difficulty, not intellectual disability. Id. at 306. He also had memory problems due to seizures, which happened infrequently. See id. at 305-06.

On the Bender Gestalt test, which tests for “organic impairment, ” Pacy made only one minor error; “normal” adults are expected to make none. Id. at 307. Pacy made no error on the Trail Making Part A test, and completed the test efficiently enough to receive a score in the “Normal Range.” Id. Pacy likewise made no errors on Part B of that test, but he finished more slowly, earning him a score in the “Mildly Impaired Range.” Id. He maintained reasonable focus and attention during the Trail Making Test. Id.

Pacy also received the Wechsler Memory Scale-III test, which consists of a set of subtests measuring various subtypes of memory across different channels. Id. His scores follow:

Wechsler Memory Scale-III

Memory Subtype

Score

%-ile

Auditory Immediate Memory

62

1

Visual Immediate Memory

57

.2

Immediate Memory

51

.1

Auditory Delayed Memory

71

3

Auditory Delayed Memory

75

5

Auditory Recognition Delayed

85

16

General Memory Composite Score: 72 (3rd %-ile)

Working Memory Composite Score: 81(10th %-lie)

Id. Based on these scores, Dr. Morin concluded that Pacy’s estimated intellectual functioning was in the low average to borderline range, and he might have difficulty working with multi-step procedures. Id. at 309. He further noted that Pacy displayed no gross motor anomalies and spoke at a normal rate and volume, and his thinking appeared concrete and reality ...


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