United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER RE: MOTION FOR REVERSAL AND/OR REMAND (ECF NO.
FOLEY, JR., UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case involves judicial review of an administrative action by
the Commissioner of Social Security denying Plaintiff Jeffrey
Feldman's claim for disability benefits under Titles II
and XVI of the Social Security Act. Plaintiff filed his
Motion for Reversal and/or Remand (ECF No. 20) on October 18,
2017. The Commissioner filed her Cross-Motion to Affirm (ECF
No. 21) and Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Remand
(ECF No. 22) on November 17, 2017.
filed a Title II application for a period of disability and
disability insurance benefits on January 6, 2012. He also
filed a Title XVI application for supplemental security
income on January 6, 2012. In both applications, Plaintiff
alleged that his disability began on May 31, 2011.
Administrative Record (“AR”) 197-214. The Social
Security Administration denied Plaintiff's claims
initially on June 7, 2012 and upon reconsideration on August
26, 2013. AR 81, 95, 150-152. Plaintiff requested a hearing
before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) which
was conducted on September 4, 2014. AR 13. Plaintiff and a
vocational expert testified at the hearing. The ALJ issued
his decision on February 10, 2015 and concluded that
Plaintiff was not disabled at any time between the date his
applications were filed and the date of the decision. AR 29.
The Appeals Council denied his request for review on June 14,
2016. AR 1-7. Plaintiff then commenced this action for
judicial review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). This
matter has been referred to the undersigned for a report of
findings and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B) and (C).
motion for reversal and/or remand is limited to whether the
ALJ improperly rejected the opinion of psychologist, Paul
Jones, Ed.D., who performed a consultative mental status
examination of Plaintiff on April 4, 2012. The Court will
therefore focus on the evidence relating to Plaintiff's
mental condition, and will discuss Plaintiff's physical
impairments only to the extent necessary to understand
Plaintiff's claim for disability benefits, and as
relevant to his alleged mental impairment.
Plaintiff's Disability Reports and Hearing
was born on June 5, 1953. He is 6'1” tall and
weighed approximately 300 pounds at the time of his
application. AR 228. He resided with his mother who was
eighty-five years old. AR 198. He has a Bachelor of Arts
degree. AR 60. Plaintiff was self-employed, renovating homes,
from 1999 to 2005. He thereafter worked as an operations
manager at a UPS store owned by his brother from 2005 to
2011. AR 42-46. In his January 7, 2012 disability report,
Plaintiff listed the following conditions that limit his
ability to work: “Diabetes, heart problems, high blood
pressure, herniated discs, migraines, enlarged prostate, torn
tibial tendons in both knees, right knee damage, incontinent,
sjourns syndrome, shingle and other skin disorders, and
depression.” AR 227-237.
stated in a February 9, 2012 function report that he could
not stand or walk for any period of time. His ankles, knees
and shoulders had been damaged over the years, and severe
arthritis had taken over his body. He had daily chest pain
that was brought on by stress. AR 246. He was unable to walk
or lift items easily and was in severe pain for a majority of
the day. Plaintiff was unable to sleep in a bed, and slept
2-4 hours a night in a recliner. AR 247. He had steadily
looked for employment that would accommodate his illness, but
had not been able to find a job. AR. 247. Plaintiff dressed
himself and his mother on a daily basis, and took care of the
family dog. He was able to shower with difficulty due to loss
of motion in the arms and shoulder. He needed help shaving
because of carpel tunnel syndrome in both hands and a damaged
right rotator cuff. He also needed help with “foot
care, ” had damaged tendons in both ankles, and needed
a right knee replacement. AR 247.
stated that he was unable to concentrate for any period of
time and became very moody when questioned. He was frustrated
when any negative events occurred. AR 246. His mother
reminded him daily of his appearance and grooming needs, and
he needed reminders to take medication. He also forgot to
prepare meals. AR 248. He rarely needed reminders to go
places, but sometimes needed someone to accompany him. AR
250. He had become very temperamental in getting along with
family, friends and neighbors. His attention span was
relatively good, and he was fair to good at following written
instructions. He could follow spoken instructions when they
were properly explained. AR 251. Plaintiff stated that he had
always been an authority figure at work and knew how to treat
people properly. He had difficulty with stress and cracked
very easily when something didn't go as expected. He had
become claustrophobic. AR 252.
stated that he was able to prepare sandwiches and frozen
dinners on a daily basis, and do laundry about two hours a
week. AR 248. He did not do yardwork or housework. He was
able to go outside alone, and walk and drive a car. He
shopped by computer, and went to the supermarket a few times
a week. Plaintiff was able to pay bills, count change, and
use a checkbook or money orders. He did not have a savings
account. AR 249. His hobbies and interests were watching
television and working when able. He needed a job that would
allow his disabilities and illnesses. He talked on the phone
with others a couple of times a week. AR 250-251.
had difficulty lifting, squatting, bending, standing,
walking, kneeling, climbing stairs, completing tasks,
concentrating, using his hands and getting along with others.
He could only walk about 100 to 200 feet before needing to
stop and rest. AR 251. He used a cane, prescribed by his
doctor, for walking or standing for extended periods. AR 252.
Plaintiff filled out a headache form indicating that he
regularly had severe headaches. He additionally noted that he
did not have health insurance. AR 253-254.
testified at the September 4, 2014 hearing that he stopped
working due to pain in his legs, ankles, severe migraine
headaches, inability to multi task and shortness of breath.
AR 47. Cysts had developed on the muscles in his legs. He was
unable to stand for any significant periods of time because
his kneecaps swelled with fluid. AR 48. He did not have
surgery because the recovery time was too long, and the
doctors told him that he would not be a good surgical
candidate. He had received cortisone injections and took
several types of pain medication to relieve his ankle pain.
AR 49. His calf also swelled throughout the day, and he kept
his feet elevated to reduce the swelling. AR 51. His right