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CINTRON v. BOWEN

May 26, 1988

Daniel Arroyo Cintron
v.
Otis R. Bowen



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LUDWIG

 EDMUND V. LUDWIG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Plaintiff applied for disability insurance benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (R. 147-160). The applications were denied - initially and on reconsideration by the Office of Disability Operations of the Social Security Administration (R. 205-210). The case was reviewed de novo by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and a supplemental hearing was held. The ALJ's decision, dated April 28, 1987, denied the application. On July 20, 1987 the Appeals Council denied a request for review. This appeal followed, 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3), for review of the decision of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary). Both plaintiff and defendant move for summary judgment.

 Plaintiff's claims are based on both physical and mental impairments. Plaintiff is alleged to have pain and cramps in his leg upon prolonged periods of walking or standing. He was diagnosed as having osteoarthritis of the right ankle, resulting from a poorly healed fracture in 1980 (R. 278-279).

 Associated with a long history of alcohol abuse, plaintiff, age 40, has been diagnosed repeatedly as having organic brain syndrome (R. 262) and a schizotypal personality disorder (R. 293). *fn1" His full-scale IQ is 73, which places him in the fifth percentile of adult population, the lowest limit of borderline functioning (R. 309-319).

 His conditions have been marked by auditory hallucinations, incoherent thought, poor concentration, limited insight and paranoid thinking (R. 15-16). Medical and psychological reports suggest that plaintiff has difficulty keeping schedules or adapting to changes (R. 275-317). Plaintiff testified that he has been fired for physically fighting with supervisors or co-workers. One psychologist found plaintiff to be capable of understanding simple instructions and, if motivated, working within a given schedule.

 Plaintiff asserts that his mental impairment renders him disabled as a matter of law. Under the Secretary's regulations, if an impairment meets or equals a listed impairment in Appendix 1, a claimant is disabled without regard to age, education or work experience. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(d) (1987). Plaintiff's mental impairment appears to fit within the listing of personality disorders.

 
12.08 Personality Disorders: A personality disorder exists when personality traits are inflexible and maladaptive and cause either significant impairment in social or occupational functioning or subjective distress. Characteristic features are typical of the individual's long-term functioning and are not limited to discrete episodes of illness.
 
The required level of severity for these disorders is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied.
 
1. Seclusiveness or autistic thinking; or
 
2. Pathologically inappropriate suspiciousness or hostility; or
 
3. Oddities of thought, perception, speech and ...

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