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Cavette v. Astrue

March 15, 2010

JOYCE CAVETTE, O/B/A S.C., A MINOR, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: David G. Bernthal United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

In February 2007, Administrative Law Judge (hereinafter "ALJ") Alice Jordan denied Plaintiff Joyce Cavette's application for supplemental security income on behalf of her daughter S.C., finding that S.C. was not disabled. In August 2008, the Appeals Council denied review, making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner. In November 2008, Plaintiff filed a Complaint for Judicial Review (#3) of the final decision by the ALJ denying the application. The parties have consented to the exercise of jurisdiction by a United States Magistrate Judge.

In April 2009, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Summary Judgment or Remand (#16). In July 2009, Defendant filed a Motion for an Order Which Affirms the Commissioner's Decision (#21). In August 2009, Plaintiff filed a Reply To the Commissioner's Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Affirmance (#23). After reviewing the administrative record and the parties' memoranda, this Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment or Remand (#16).

I. Background

A. Procedural Background

In December 2003, Joyce Cavette filed an application for supplemental security income benefits on behalf of her daughter S.C, alleging an onset date of December 1, 1997. In April 2004, the Social Security Administration denied the application initially and again upon reconsideration in August 2004. On Plaintiff's request, the ALJ held a hearing on February 1, 2007. The claimant, S.C., was represented by counsel at the hearing. On February 22, 2007, the ALJ denied the application for benefits. The Appeals Council subsequently denied Plaintiff's request for review, making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner. After the Social Security Administration granted Plaintiff's request for more time to file a civil action, Plaintiff timely filed a Complaint for Judicial Review (#3) in this Court in November 2008, requesting remand pursuant to sentence six or, alternatively, pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

B. Proposed New Evidence

Regarding Plaintiff's request for a sentence six remand, the proposed new evidence includes the following:

1) Dr. Roselin Arunachalam's report from an outpatient therapy session at Mental Health Center of Champaign County dated February 1, 2007. (R. 853.) Dr. Arunachalam diagnosed S.C. with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (hereinafter "ADHD"), learning disorder, mood disorder, and a history of conduct disorder. Dr. Arunachalam rated S.C. to have a Children's Global Assessment Score (hereinafter "CGAS") of 45.

2) Hospital records regarding S.C.'s involuntary admission to Riverside Medical Center's Mental Health Unit dated March 10, 2007, to March 14, 2007. (R. 755-852.) Dr. Ayoade's clinic notes dated March 10, 2007, state as follows: "[B]ecause of her past history of being on Lexapro and also Risperdal, history of aggression, and history of getting angry easily, we will consider diagnosis of Bipolar strongly in her." (R. 776.) The discharge notes, dated March 14, 2007, included diagnoses of ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (hereinafter "ODD"), and depressive disorder. (R. 765.)

3) Dr. Arunachalam's report from an outpatient therapy session at Mental Health Center of Champaign County on March 16, 2007. (R. 854.) Dr. Arunachalam diagnosed S.C. with ADHD, learning disorder, mood disorder, and a history of conduct disorder. Dr. Arunachalam rated S.C. as having a CGAS of 45.

4) Hospital records regarding S.C.'s admission to Riverside Medical Center's Mental Health Unit dated May 4, 2007, to May 15, 2007. (R. 552-754.) S.C.'s discharge diagnoses included ADHD and bipolar disorder. (R. 554.)

II. Standard of Review

Sentence six of 42 U.S.C. ยง 405(g) allows the Court to remand a case to the Commissioner "upon a showing that there is new evidence which is material and that there is good cause for the failure to ...


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