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Adam Mckenzie v. Michael Astrue

July 12, 2011

ADAM MCKENZIE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Byron G. Cudmore, U.S. Magistrate Judge:

E-FILED

Tuesday, 12 July, 2011 12:45:01 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

Plaintiff Adam McKenzie appeals from the denial of his application for Supplemental Security Income ( "Disability Benefits") under the Social Security Act. 42 U.S.C. § 1381a, and 1382c. This appeal is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c). McKenzie has filed a Brief in Support of Complaint (d/e 12), and Defendant Commissioner of Social Security has filed a Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Affirmance (d/e 14).*fn1 The parties consented, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), to have this matter proceed before this Court.

Consent to Proceed Before a United States Magistrate Judge, and Order of Reference entered April 15, 2011 (d/e 10). For the reasons set forth below, the Decision of the Commissioner is affirmed.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

McKenzie was born on August 23, 1964. Answer to Complaint (d/e 8),attached Certified Transcript of Record of Proceedings Before the Social Security Administration (R.), at 23. He quit school in the tenth grade. He has no past relevant work experience. He last worked for about two months in 2008; he worked moving materials and helping to set up a department. R. 36.

McKenzie filed his application for Disability Benefits on May 9, 2008. McKenzie suffered from drug abuse, mental problems, and problems with the use of his right arm. On June 6, 2008, McKenzie and his brother Ron McKenzie completed a Social Security Administration form entitled Function Report-Adult. R. 163-76. According to this Report, McKenzie lived with Ron and spent his day watching television, looking out the window, walking back and forth, and talking to Ron. R. 163. McKenzie would walk in his sleep, talk in his sleep, and wake up screaming. R. 164. Ron dressed and shaved McKenzie, and also cut McKenzie's hair. R. 164. McKenzie would only take a "Bird Bath" and would not get in the bathtub. R. 164. McKenzie would "forget what he doing very often." R. 164. McKenzie needed to be reminded to change clothes, bathe, shave, and take his medicine. R. 165. McKenzie swept the floor, took out the garbage, and cleaned the walls. R. 165. McKenzie was not allowed outside because he got lost. R. 166. McKenzie did not drive because, "forgot to turn go through red lights I think is green. He forgets what he is doing." R. 166. McKenzie went to see family and friends with his brother and sister and attended church every Sunday and some Wednesdays. R. 167.

On July 8, 2008, state agency physician Dr. Fauzia Rana, M.D., performed a physical examination of McKenzie. McKenzie stated that he suffered a stab wound in his right arm in the past and had problems using his right arm ever since. He also complained of depression. He stated that he has auditory hallucinations and thoughts of suicide. He stated that he had attempted suicide in the past. He stated that he had been hospitalized for depression in the past. He reported use of alcohol, heroin, and cocaine.

R. 294. He stated that he used drugs one week before the examination. R. 294. During the examination, McKenzie acted confused, stared at the ceiling, walked back and forth and then jerked his head, and sometimes started laughing. R. 295. Dr. Rana diagnosed status post right arm stab wound. Dr. Rana could not conduct neurological testing because McKenzie would not cooperate with instructions. R. 296.

On the same day, July 8, 2008, state agency psychiatrist Ana Gil, M.D., performed a psychiatric evaluation. McKenzie was well dressed, well groomed, and had good hygiene. McKenzie had mild psychomotor agitation. He rocked back and forth in the chair during the interview.

R. 302. McKenzie reported a twenty-three year history of alcohol, cocaine and heroin abuse. He stated that he had used heroin within a week of the examination. R. 302. He reported that he used drugs on a weekly basis.

R. 302. He reported a history of seizures, blackouts, tremors, cirrhosis, and the DT's, and stated that he had been in jail for assault related to his substance abuse. R. 302-03.

McKenzie denied any current hallucinations, suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or thoughts that anyone wanted to harm him. Dr. Gil noted that McKenzie was cooperative and related information in a logical manner. McKenzie stated that he dressed and groomed himself and took care of his own hygiene. McKenzie stated that he stayed in his room most of the time. He stated that he left his home about once a week to get heroin and cocaine. He stated that he was unable to travel because he got lost.

R. 303. McKenzie appeared confused and failed virtually every test that Dr. Gil gave him. He stated the date as January 9 (instead of July 8) and stated that he did not know the year. R. 304. When Dr. Gil asked him to repeat a sequence of numbers, McKenzie stated that he could not. McKenzie gave "February of 69" as his birth date, when he was born on August 23, 1964. McKenzie could not give the route he took to come to Dr. Gil's office. McKenzie said that he could not perform any arithmetic, even if he used his fingers. McKenzie said, "5=10, 8=9, 10=10, 10-2=6, 6-4=1, 12-7=7." R. 304. McKenzie said that he did not know what 2x3, 5x4 or 3x7 was. R. 304. McKenzie said Harold Washington was the current President. McKenzie could not name any recent Presidents. When asked what city he was in, McKenzie said, "Illinois." R. 304. McKenzie said that if he smelled smoke in a movie theater he would smoke. R. 305. McKenzie stated that he did not know the meaning of the phrases, "You can't judge a book by its cover" and "There's no use crying over spilled milk." R. 305.

Dr. Gil noted that McKenzie was able to give a coherent and logical history, but had a lack of cooperation, effort, and motivation in the cognitive portion of the examination. R. 305. Dr. Gil opined that McKenzie's diagnosis was consistent with malingering and observed no evidence of psychosis or thought process disorder. R. 305. Dr. Gil opined that McKenzie could not handle his own funds. R. 306.

On February 9, 2009, state agency psychologist Dr. Frank Froman, Ed.D., examined McKenzie. McKenzie moved from Chicago to Quincy, Illinois, about four months earlier. He now lived with his sister in Quincy.

R. 340. McKenzie's clothes were "disheveled" and his personal hygiene was "profoundly lacking." R. 340. McKenzie stated that he dropped out of school in the tenth grade and started using cocaine. R. 304. McKenzie reported a long-term weekly habit of cocaine use. R. 341. He last used cocaine one week earlier. R. 341. He reported drinking an occasional beer. R. 341. McKenzie stated that he was inactive in religion. R. 341. McKenzie reported visual hallucinations. McKenzie reported seeing "black little furry things running around." R. 342. McKenzie reported minimal contact with others. He said that he preferred his own care. R. 341. McKenzie stated that he swept, mopped, cleaned the bathroom, and vacuumed. R. 341.

McKenzie provided a large number of incorrect answers on mental status testing. Dr. Froman stated that he had difficulty determining McKenzie's veracity because McKenzie failed virtually all of the test items requiring thought. R. 342. Dr. Froman noted that if McKenzie "were scored on this testing, he would have earned a full scale IQ of 45, which is not seen to pick up some of the flavor of the man's intellect." R. 342.

Dr. Froman also stated that McKenzie rocked continually and made clicking noises during the test. R. 342. Dr. Froman stated that the test results indicated impairments in all cognitive and memory areas, some of which ...


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