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Bellamy v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

May 2, 2017

AKIEM R. BELLAMY Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration Defendant.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          LYNN ADELMAN District Judge.

         Plaintiff Akiem Bellamy seeks judicial review of the termination of his supplemental security income benefits. The Social Security Administration awarded plaintiff benefits as a child based on conduct and mood disorders (Tr. at 78, 174, 415-20, 739), but after he turned 18 the agency reviewed his status under the standards for adults, concluding that he was no longer disabled as of June 1, 2013 (Tr. at 79, 81, 115-16). Plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) (Tr. at 118), but the ALJ agreed that his disability had ended (Tr. at 25). The Appeals Council denied review (Tr. at 1), making the ALJ's decision the final word from the agency on the matter. See Moreno v. Berryhill, 882 F.3d 722, 728 (7th Cir. 2018).

         I. FACTS AND BACKGROUND

         Before the agency, plaintiff alleged continued disability due to diabetes mellitus and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”). (Tr. at 55, 62, 218.) As part of its review, the agency arranged for a consultative psychological evaluation and obtained the opinions of reviewing medical and psychological consultants.[1]

         A. Consultants' Reports

         1. Examining Consultant

         On May 31, 2013, Jeremy Meyers, Ed.D., conducted a psychological evaluation. Plaintiff displayed no physical limitations and was pleasant and agreeable. He indicated that he had been diagnosed with ADHD but denied any other clinical diagnoses. (Tr. at 574.) He reported normal sleep, good energy level, and good appetite; he experienced only rare crying spells, with no suicidal ideation. (Tr. at 575.) He was oriented x3, able to recall three of three objects immediately and after five minutes, able to spell the word “world” forward and backward, and had no difficulty following a three-step command or ongoing conversation. He reported a bad temper but no history of violence. (Tr. at 576.)

         Dr. Meyers noted that plaintiff was able to perform activities of daily living in a timely manner, although relatively little seemed to be expected of him at the time. Plaintiff reported that he had never been fired from a job or required special accommodations. (Tr. at 576.) He expected to graduate from high school in June 2014 and was in special classes because of ADHD. His mother reported that he was slow in school, although learning disabilities were not reported. She also described him as very challenging and oppositional. (Tr. at 577.)

         Dr. Meyers diagnosed attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder (“ODD”), and learning disabilities, with a GAF of 75.[2] (Tr. at 577-78.) Regarding plaintiff's work capacity, Dr. Meyers concluded:

Mr. Bellamy should be able to understand, remember, and carry out simple instructions, if he feels like doing so. He should also be able to respond appropriately to supervisors and coworkers. Maintaining concentration and attention may test his ability to focus, but he should be able to meet work pace demands, as long as he fully understands what needs to be done. He should also be able to withstand routine work stress and adapt to the kind of changes he would find in a semi-skilled work environment.

(Tr. at 578.)

         2. Reviewing Consultants

         On June 6, 2013, Syd Foster, D.O., reviewed the medical records, noting that plaintiff had been diagnosed with diabetes but there was no indication of end organ damage, and plaintiff's neurological, motor, and visual functions were intact. Dr. Foster concluded that plaintiff “has no severe physical limitations that would affect his ability to work.” (Tr. at 580.)

         On June 6, 2013, Eric Edelman, Ph.D., reviewed the record and concluded that plaintiff had no severe mental impairment. (Tr. at 581.) Dr. Edelman noted the diagnoses of ADHD and ODD (Tr. at 582, 588), but found that they produced only mild restriction of activities of daily living, social functioning, and concentration, persistence, and pace, with no episodes of decompensation (Tr. at 591). He ...


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