Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

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.

Maillet v. Colvin

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

July 7, 2016

CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Defendant.


          MASTROIANNI, U.S.D.J.

         I. Introduction

         This is an action for judicial review of a final decision by the acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration ("Commissioner"), regarding an individual's entitlement to Social Security Disability Insurance ("SSDI") benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1383(c)(3) (referring to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)). Michelle Marie Maillet ("Plaintiff") asserts the Commissioner's decision denying her SSDI - memorialized in a June 16, 2014 decision of an administrative law judge ("ALJ") - is in error. The parties have filed cross-motions for judgment on the pleadings.

         For the reasons set forth below, the court will grant Defendant's Motion for Order Affirming the Decision of the Commissioner (Dkt. 16) and deny Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Dkt. 11).

         II. Background

         On March 26, 2012, Plaintiff filed for SSDI benefits alleging disability due to depression, anxiety, and bipolar/unipolar mania with a disability onset date of April 7, 2011. (Administrative Record ("AR") 92, 172-78, 203.) After the Commissioner denied her application initially and on reconsideration, Plaintiff requested a hearing before an ALJ. (Id. at 108-110, 112-14.) The ALJ found that Plaintiff was insured through December 31, 2015, and reviewed the record to decide whether Plaintiff was disabled while insured. (Id. at 24.)

         A. Portions of Plaintiff's Medical History Credited by the ALJ

         On April 8, 2011, Plaintiff stopped working and saw her primary care physician because of an anxiety attack she experienced after her husband was diagnosed with cancer. (Id. at 46.) Plaintiff's primary care physician referred her to Linda Lapour, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. (Id.) Ms. Lapour treated Plaintiff for a year, prescribing various medications. (Id.)

         On April 30, 2012, Plaintiff referred herself to Clinical and Support Options reporting mood swings, high anxiety, racing thoughts, and difficulty falling asleep. (Id. at 46, 306.) Clinical and Support Options' Barbara Doyle, LMHC, diagnosed Plaintiff with bipolar, mixed, moderate, and obsessive compulsive disorder ("OCD"). (Id. at 314.) Plaintiff's appearance, perception, thought process, orientation, insight and judgment were within normal limits. (Id. at 310.) Ms. Doyle concluded that Plaintiff was markedly limited, but assigned Plaintiff a GAF score[1] of 58, which denotes moderate limitations. (Id. at 314.)

         On May 15, 2012, Shawn Channell, Ph.D., ABPP, evaluated Plaintiff upon the request of the Social Security Administration ("SSA"). (Id. at 317.) Dr. Channell diagnosed Plaintiff with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and OCD. (Id. at 321.) During this examination, "[Plaintiffs] grooming and dress were appropriate, " "her participation was cooperative and attentive, " and her "speech was normal in volume, rate, and tone." (Id. at 320.) Nonetheless, Dr. Channell assigned Plaintiff a GAF score of 45, denoting severe limitations. (Id. at 321.)

         On May 16, 2012, the SSA requested state consultants Jon Perlman, Ed.D, and Belen Gannon consider whether Plaintiff was disabled. (AR at 83.) They reviewed Plaintiffs record from March 30, 2012 to May 15, 2012 and found her not disabled because she "continue[d] to engage in routine day to day behaviors such as taking care of home and family." (Id. at 86.)

         On June 7, 2012, Plaintiff attended her first appointment with the Clinical and Support Options' psychiatrist Thomas Weiss, M.D. Dr. Weiss diagnosed her with bipolar disorder, OCD, and attention deficit disorder. (Id. at 443.) Dr. Weiss assigned her a GAF score of 65, denoting mild limitations. (Id.)

         On July 12, 2012, Plaintiff was admitted to the partial hospitalization program at Baystate Franklin Medical Center for treatment of depression. (Id. at 339.) The examining source described Plaintiff as "a pleasant and cooperative young woman, casually dressed and groomed." (Id. at 349.) Plaintiffs "[s]peech [was] normally paced and goal directed"; "her cognitive exam [was] intact." (Id.) The examining source found "[n]o psychotic thought process or content, no hallucinations in any sphere." (Id.) By the end of the year, Ms. Doyle had assigned Plaintiff GAF scores 53 and 61, and Dr. Weiss's reported that medication had stabilized Plaintiffs symptoms and that Plaintiff was socially appropriate. (Id. at 99, 445)

         In January of 2013, the SSA requested state consultants Caroline Cole, Psy. D., and Patrice Bonkowski to consider whether Plaintiff was disabled. They reviewed Plaintiffs treatment record from March 30, 2012, to November 26, 2012, and found her not disabled because she was helping with chores and childcare, and her symptoms were improving. (Id. at 96-106.)

         In August of 2013, the SSA requested Ms. Doyle and Dr. Weiss compile a treating sources' functional assessment. (Id. at 438-44.) In their assessment, Ms. Doyle and Dr. Weiss indicated that Plaintiff was markedly limited in a number of mental functioning areas. (Id. at 442.) The assessment also noted that Plaintiff's GAF score was 65-indicating mild limitation, up from a score of 53 that Ms. Doyle assigned Plaintiff in 2012. (Id. at 443.) In January of 2014, Dr. Weiss composed another report, in which he repeated his August of 2013 assessment and concluded that Plaintiff cannot maintain competitive employment. (Id. at 453.)

         B. Hearing in ...

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.