Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

MILLER v. BARNHART

February 4, 2004.

TINA MILLER, on behalf of TYRIK MILLER, Plaintiff
v.
JO ANNE BARNHART, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CYNTHIA RUFE, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of the decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration denying her son's claim for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. 42 U.S.C. § 1381-1383h. Presently before the Court are the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. United States Magistrate Judge Jacob P. Hart issued a report recommending that this Court deny Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, grant Defendant's Motion, and affirm the Commissioner's decision. Upon careful and independent consideration of the administrative record, Judge Hart's report, and Plaintiff's objections thereto, the Court overrules Plaintiff's objections and grants Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

  Plaintiff Tina Miller filed an application on behalf of her son, Tyrik Miller, for SSI on March 9, 2001, alleging that Tyrik has been disabled since December 2, 2000 due to a combination of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ("ADHD"), Oppositional Defiance Disorder ("ODD"), headaches, a learning disorder, and a depressive disorder. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determinations ("BDD") denied Plaintiff's claim for SSI, and Plaintiff thereafter Page 2 requested a hearing. R. 26-30. After a hearing before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") J. Joseph Herring on August 15, 2002, the ALJ denied Plaintiff's claim on September 18, 2002. R. 12-22. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiffs request for review on January 29, 2003. R. 3-4. Plaintiff then appealed to this Court.

  On cross-motions for summary judgment, Judge Hart filed a Report and Recommendation ("R & R"), finding that the ALJ's decision was supported by substantial evidence and recommending that Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment be granted. R & R at 20. The Court, however, is troubled by noted inaccuracies in the record below. Nevertheless, after careful review of the entire record, the Court adopts Judge Hart's conclusions. Consistent with its duty as articulated in 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the Court addresses below those portions of the R & R to which Plaintiff objects.

 II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

  Tyrik Miller was born on August 16, 1990. During the time period relevant to this matter, he was evaluated by various medical professionals for problems he was having in school. He was also evaluated by his elementary school principal and his fifth grade teacher. Some of these evaluations were completed specifically to assist in determining Tyrik's disability claim, while others were to treat Tyrik for his problems at school or for headache pain. Because one of Plaintiff's contentions is that the ALJ improperly relied on some of these evaluations while discounting others, each evaluation is summarized below.

  A. The Psycho-Educational Evaluation

  In December 2000, Tyrik was failing all of his subjects at St. Rose of Lima, the parochial school where he attended fifth grade. R. 113. Accordingly, Tyrik's teacher, Ida Jones, and Page 3 his mother referred Tyrik to Nancy DeHaven, Ed.M. and Dale F. Cleary, Ph.D., for a psycho-educational evaluation R. 113. Drs. DeHaven and Cleary met with Tyrik and observed him in a classroom setting, interviewed Ms. Jones, reviewed Tyrik's school records, and administered a number of tests, including the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, the Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration, the Rey Complex Figure Test and Recognition Trial, a test of word reading efficiency, and a test of reading comprehension. R. 115. They also evaluated Tyrik's social emotional functioning "through a clinical interview, the Children's Self-Report and Projective Inventory, the Conners' Rating Scales and the ADHD Rating Scale — IV." R. 119.

  In their report, Drs. DeHaven and Cleary noted the following:

  (1) Tyrik has "Average cognitive abilities with no significant difference between his Verbal and Performance IQ's." R. 116.

  (2) One of Tyrik's strengths is "his ability to form abstract verbal concepts and to focus his attention when discrete problem solving steps are utilized." R. 117.

  (3) Tyrik performed in the average or below average range on tests of his visual-motor integration, memory and ability to organize complex visual information. R. 117-18. Drs. DeHaven and Cleary concluded: "Results of the perceptual testing indicate that Tyrik performs below average when asked to remember and organize complex visual information. He has difficulty discriminating between important and unimportant information." R. 118.

  (4) Tyrik performed poorly on the reading comprehension tests. R. 119.

  (5) Tyrik's mother reported that Tyrik "is restless and impulsive and that he has difficulty sitting." Id. Tyrik's teacher, Ms. Jones, reported that Tyrik "makes careless mistakes in his schoolwork, fidgets and is easily distracted." Id. Drs. DeHaven and Cleary concluded, however, Page 4 that "Ms. Jones' rating of [Tyrik' s] classroom behavior, while indicating some ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.