United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MARIA VALDEZ, United States Magistrate Judge
action was brought under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to review
the final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration (“Commissioner”) denying Plaintiff
Angelo Navarro's (“Plaintiff”) claim for
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under Title
XVI of the Social Security Act (“the Act”). The
parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the United
States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's petition for
summary reversal or remand is granted in part and the
Commissioner's motion for summary judgment [Doc. No. 23]
applied for SSI on December 2, 2011 alleging a disability
onset date of October 13, 2011 due to mental problems,
delocated arm and shoulder, as well as two holes in his
heart. (R. 302, 324.) The claim was initially
denied on March 23, 2012 and upon reconsideration on June 28,
2012. (R. 167-68.) Plaintiff filed a written request for
hearing on July 11, 2012, which was held on April 16, 2014.
(R. 198.) Plaintiff appeared and testified at the hearing
before Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Lovert F.
Bassett. (R. 109-66.) Dr. Ronald A. Semerdjian, MD, a medical
expert, and Margaret H. Ford, a vocational expert, also
appeared and testified. (Id.) On August 9, 2014, the
ALJ issued an unfavorable written decision, finding Plaintiff
is not disabled. (R. 15-40.) The Appeals Council
(“AC”) denied review on February 10, 2016,
leaving the ALJ's decision as the final decision of the
Commissioner and, therefore, reviewable by the District Court
under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). See Haynes v.
Barnhart, 416 F.3d 621, 626 (7th Cir. 2005); Herron
v. Shalala, 19 F.3d 329, 332 (7th Cir. 1994); (R. 1-6.)
was born on December 6, 1965 and was forty-five years old as
of his alleged onset date. (R. 302.) His records reflect that
he last worked as a laborer in a spring factory for six
months in 2008. (R. 318, 324.)
Plaintiff's administrative record contains evidence
related to both his physical and mental impairments, the
Court will only address those records which are necessary to
resolve the issues raised by the parties.
after his alleged onset date of October 13, 2011, Plaintiff
presented to Dr. Robert Prescott, Ph.D., at the behest of the
Bureau of Disability Determination Services for two separate
formal mental evaluations. (R. 534, 1152.)
first exam with Dr. Prescott was on February 9, 2012. (R.
534.) To begin, Dr. Prescott questioned Plaintiff about his
educational, marital, criminal, and vocational history. (R.
535.) Plaintiff, who served as the only informant on the
matters, stated that he had been placed in special education
classes in high school, but never graduated, had previously
been married, and had no criminal history other than a DUI in
2004. (Id.) He explained that he had last been
employed at the Garden Spring Company about two and half
years prior to his exam date. (Id.) Dr. Prescott
also noted that Plaintiff interacted in a cooperative manner
throughout the examination and was well-articulated and
understandable 90% of the time. (R. 536.)
the latter half of the examination, Dr. Prescott focused on
Plaintiff's mental status. (Id.). Plaintiff
reported bouts of depression, and explained that he was very
irritable and often cried. (Id.) He additionally
stated that he heard a voice which instructed him to engage
in “bad” behavior, such as stealing.
(Id.) Dr. Prescott diagnosed Plaintiff with a
cognitive disorder not otherwise specified, mood disorder not
otherwise specified, and intermittent explosive disorder. (R.
second examination with Dr. Prescott was on May 9, 2014. (R.
1152.) Once again, Dr. Prescott asked Plaintiff several
personal history questions, to which Plaintiff was the only
informant. (R. 1153.) Plaintiff stated that he had attended
high school, but did not know if he had been placed in
special education classes, had never been married, and had
been to jail many times including as recently at six years
prior to the examination. (Id.) Moreover, he
reported that he had last worked at the Supreme Company over
six years prior. (Id.) Dr. Prescott deemed Plaintiff
a poor historian because Plaintiff had provided several
contradictory statements between his two examinations, but
nonetheless added personality disorder with antisocial
features to his list of diagnostic impressions. (R. 1156-57.)
same appointment, Dr. Prescott completed a Medical Source
Statement of Ability to do Work-Related Activities (Mental).
(R. 1158.) In it, he determined that Plaintiff would have
moderate impairments in his ability to: understand, remember,
and carry out simple instructions; make judgments on simple
work-related decisions; understand, remember, and carry out
complex instructions or make judgments on complex
work-related decisions. (Id.) He further opined that
Plaintiff would have marked limitations in his ability to
interact appropriately with the public, supervisors, and
co-workers and to respond appropriately to usual work
situations and to changes in a routine work setting. (R.
1159.) Dr. Prescott based this ...