United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MICHAEL S. KAKOCZKI, Claimant,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of the U.S. Social Security Administration, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL T. MASON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Michael Kakoczki (“Claimant”) seeks judicial
review under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) of a final decision of
Defendant Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(“SSA”) denying his claim for Social Security
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits
under Title XVI of the Social Security Act (“the
Act”). The parties have consented to the jurisdiction
of a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c). Before the court is Claimant's motion to
reverse the decision of the Commissioner's (Dkt. 20) and
the Commissioner's motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 30).
For the reasons that follow, Claimant's motion is granted
and the Commissioner's motion is denied. This case is
remanded to the SSA for further proceedings consistent with
23, 2011, at the age of eighteen, Claimant filed a Title XVI
SSI application alleging a disability due to bipolar
disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (“OCD”),
seizure disorder, anxiety, memory deficit, and learning
disability beginning May 1, 2011. (R. 177, 180-88.) The
application was denied initially on October 18, 2011 and upon
reconsideration on January 26, 2012. (R. 68-69.) After both
denials, Claimant filed a timely request for a hearing, which
was initially scheduled for June 15, 2012 before an
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). (R. 27-37,
85-86.) Claimant appeared for the hearing without a
representative. (R. 27-37.) After being informed of his
rights to representation, the hearing was rescheduled to
provide time for Claimant to seek counsel. (Id.) On
March 6, 2013 Claimant appeared for the rescheduled hearing
along with his representative and his mother. (R. 38-67.) A
Vocational Expert (“VE”) was also present to
offer her testimony. (Id.) On April 26, 2013, the
ALJ issued a written determination finding Claimant not
disabled and denying his SSI application. (R. 10-21.)
Claimant sought review by the Appeals Council
(“AC”), which was denied on September 16, 2014.
medical records indicate that he has been a patient at Dreyer
Medical Clinic (“Dreyer”) since January 2010. (R.
534.) Dr. Carlos Barrios initially tended to Claimant on
January 18, 2010 for psychotherapy and medication management.
(Id.) At the time, Claimant's symptoms included
grandiose features such as commandeering attitude, flight of
ideas, hyper-verbal speech, reckless activities, and mood
swings. (Id.) He was prescribed Abilify for bipolar
disorder, Intuniv for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
(“ADHD”), and Lamictal as a mood stabilizer. (R.
535.) Dr. Barrios noted he was in otherwise stable condition.
6, 2010, Dr. Ammar Katerji, Claimant's former pediatric
neurologist, wrote a letter regarding his treatment of
Claimant. (R. 620-21.) Dr. Katerji listed Claimant's
impairments as a learning disability, behavior difficulty,
ADHD, and seizure disorder. (R. 620.) Dr. Katerji noted that
Claimant improved on his medication, but Claimant felt his
medication caused tremors and anxiety. (Id.) Dr.
Katerji suggested that Claimant remain on his medication.
continued to visit Dr. Barrios at Dreyer for psychotherapy.
Throughout the course of his visits, Claimant reported having
altercations with his mother's boyfriend. (R. 543-44.) On
July 27, 2010, he reported knee pain without specific injury.
(R. 545-46.) After a review of an x-ray, Dr. Barrios
concluded that Claimant did not have any fracture or
dislocation, but suggested that Claimant lose weight. (R.
549-50, 616-17.) On September 28, 2010, after complaints of
drowsiness, Dr. Barrios decreased his dosage of Abilify. (R.
551-52.) On November 8, 2010, Claimant reported decreased
drowsiness and felt energetic enough to return to the gym.
(R. 555-56.) On March 14, 2011, Dr. Barrios reported that
Claimant was dealing reasonably well with his medication and
he had good control of his symptoms. (R. 564.) He further
reported that Claimant was looking for a job and planned to
graduate high school and attend college. (Id.)
Claimant asked Dr. Barrios about decreasing his medication
and it was agreed that his Intuniv dosage would be decreased.
10, 2011, Claimant began to see Dr. John Zhang at Dreyer. (R.
580-81.) Dr. Zhang noted that Claimant had a history of
temporal lobe epilepsy, which causes mood and behavioral
disturbances and cognitive impairments. (R. 581.) Dr. Zhang
continued to prescribe Claimant Abilify and Intuniv.
(Id.) On September 28, 2011, Claimant saw Dr. Brian
O'Shaughnessy at Dreyer, who noted that after a
neurological examination, he found no significant
abnormalities. (R. 592.) He noted that Claimant's
headaches may be migraines, but they are “not frequent
enough” to warrant preventative medication.
(Id.) Dr. O'Shaugnessy also stopped his
antiepileptic medication, as Claimant no longer had seizures.
(Id.) Dr. O'Shaugnessy's assessments
regarding Claimant's seizures are supported by Dr.
Katerji, who noted on November 9, 2010 that Claimant had not
had “any seizures for a period of time.” (R.
September 21, 2011, state agency doctor Dr. Glen Wurglitz
completed Claimant's psychological evaluation. (R.
493-99.) Dr. Wurglitz noted that Claimant's mood was
pleasant and stable during the evaluation. (R. 495.) He had a
friendly interaction style and his speech quality was steady.
(Id.) He was oriented to person, place, time, and
the purpose of the office visit. (Id.) With regard
to his short-term memory, Dr. Wurglitz found Claimant's
memory to be poor and he was unable to remember names and
could not recall items without assistance. (Id.) Dr.
Wurglitz found Claimant to be cognitively capable of
performing tasks with complex instruction. (R. 496-97.) He
also found Claimant to be capable of understanding,
remembering, and carrying out detailed instructions. (R.
497.) Dr. Wurglitz further opined that Claimant had social
traits that may interfere with his interactions with
supervisors, coworkers, and the general public to a mild or
moderate degree. (Id.) Dr. Wurglitz assessed bipolar
disorder, learning disorder, ADHD, history of epilepsy, and
educational and occupational problems. (Id.) He gave
Claimant a GAF score of 61. (Id.)
September 27, 2011, Dr. Roopa Karri of Disability
Determination Services completed an internal medical
consultative examination. (R. 501-04.) A physical exam
returned normal results. (R. 503.) Dr. Karri noted that
Claimant had a history of bipolar disorder, anxiety, and a
learning disability. (R. 504.) Dr. Karri also reported that
Claimant had a history of seizures, but that they were under
control even without medication. (Id.) Finally, Dr.
Karri noted that Claimant was obese. (Id.)
October 7, 2011, Dr. Ellen Rozenfeld completed a Psychiatric
Review Technique Form (“PRTF”) and a mental
Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”) assessment.
(R. 505-22.) In the PRTF form, Dr. Rozenfeld assessed
Claimant for several listings impairments, such as 12.02 for
organic mental disorders, 12.04 for affective disorders, and
12.09 for substance addiction disorders. (R. 505.) Dr.
Rozenfeld noted that Claimant had mild limitations in
activities of daily living and moderate limitations in
maintaining social functioning, as well as maintaining
concentration, persistence, and pace. (R. 515.) Dr. Rozenfeld
reviewed Claimant's medical file and determined
Claimant's allegations regarding his activities of daily
living were consistent with his medically determinable
impairments. (R. 517.) However, Dr. Rozenfeld noted that
while Claimant had a long history of treatment, the record
showed that he was “doing fairly well.”
(Id.) She also noted that Claimant had a severe
mental impairment that does not meet or equal a listing
impairment and he retained the sufficient mental capacity to
perform operations of a routine and simple nature on a
sustained basis. (R. 517.)
mental RFC assessment, Dr. Rozenfeld found that Claimant
would be moderately limited in his ability to understand,
remember, and carry out detailed instructions, maintain
attention and concentration for extended periods, interact
appropriately with the general public, and get along with
coworkers or peers without distracting them or exhibiting
behavioral extremes. (R. 519-20.) Dr. Rozenfeld opined that
Claimant retained the mental capacity to concentrate on,
understand, and remember routine and repetitive instructions.
(R. 521.) She further opined that his ability to carry out
tasks with adequate persistence and pace would be limited for
complex tasks but adequate for routine and repetitive tasks.
(Id.) She stated that Claimant would be capable of
following an ordinary routine without special supervision and
he could make simple, work-related decisions. (Id.)
Dr. Rozenfeld concluded that Claimant would be able to work
in proximity with others but not on joint or shared tasks.
(Id.) He would be able to handle supervisory contact
and his ability to handle stress would be adequate to
tolerate routine changes in the workplace. (Id.)
March 19, 2012, Dr. Barrios wrote a note to the SSA to
provide clinical information regarding Claimant's
impairments. (R. 626-27.) He reported that he treated
Claimant from 2008 through 2011 and during this time, he was
diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ADHD. (R. 626.) Dr.
Barrios noted that Claimant's bipolar symptoms include
mood lability, impulsive behavior, anger problems, physical
aggression, and anxiety. (Id.) Dr. Barrios further
noted that Claimant had difficulty maintaining self-hygiene,
conducting household chores, working on his own, or managing
money. (R. 627.)
6, 2012, Claimant was admitted to Provena Medical Center
after experiencing homicidal ideations and hallucinations.
(R. 633-34.) He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and
temporal lobe epilepsy. (R. 634.) He was instructed at
discharge to follow-up with Dr. Zhang. (Id.)
Individualized Education ...