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Jesse Lee Henry Russo v. Michael J. Astrue

September 7, 2012

JESSE LEE HENRY RUSSO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: David Stewart Cercone United States District Judge

Electronic Filing

MEMORANDUM OPINION

I. INTRODUCTION

Jesse Lee Henry Russo ("Russo" or "Plaintiff") brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking review of the final determination of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Defendant" or "Commissioner") denying his application for supplemental security income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1381 -- 1383f ("Act"). The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the record has been developed at the administrative level. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment will be denied and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment will be granted.

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Russo protectively filed for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") on October 31, 2008, alleging disability beginning on October 1, 2008. R. 9. The claim was initially denied on March 2, 2009. Id. Russo filed a timely request for an administrative hearing. R. 63-64. On April 22, 2010, a hearing was held in Seven Fields, Pennsylvania, before Administrative Law Judge James J. Pileggi (the "ALJ"). R. 20. Russo, who was represented by counsel, appeared and testified at the hearing. R. 22-40. Fred A. Monaco ("Monaco"), an impartial vocational expert ("VE"), also testified at the hearing. R. 41-43. In a decision dated June 10, 2010, the ALJ determined that Russo was not disabled within the meaning of the Act. R. 9-16.

On August 9, 2010, Plaintiff sought administrative review of the ALJ's decision by filing a request for review with the Appeals Council. R. 101. The Appeals Council denied the request for review on May 3, 2011, thereby making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner in this case. R. 1. Russo then filed this civil action seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's decision.

III. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Russo was born on December 13, 1983, making him almost twenty-five (25) years of age at the alleged onset of his disability. R. 95. Russo alleged that he was disabled due to major depressive disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ("ADHD"). Id. Though Russo worked briefly as a mechanic and stock person, the ALJ determined that Russo had no past relevant work. R. 25-26.

Russo has a ninth grade education, and at the time of the hearing, had not completed a GED. R. 24. At the time of his administrative hearing, Russo was not married and lived with his parents. R. 25, 30. Russo maintained a valid driver's license and there were no restrictions on his driving. R. 26. Russo also testified that he had no drug or alcohol problems. Id.

On November 13, 2007, Russo had a behavioral health assessment at Sharon Regional Behavioral Health Services. R. 251. Russo was dressed appropriately and was cooperative.

R.253. He was found to have "fair" concentration, impulse control, insight and judgment. Id. Russo reported no hallucinations or delusions, and had no suicidal or homicidal ideation. Id.

Further, his memory, thoughts and cognitive ability were within normal limits. Id. Russo was assessed a global assessment of functioning ("GAF") score of 59*fn1 and was prescribed medication including adderall. R. 254.

The treatment notes indicate that Russo continued to be seen at Sharon Regional Behavioral Health Services from November 2007, through June of 2008, and are summarized as follows:

November 27, 2007 -- doing fairly well, mood stable without anxiety, no hallucinations or delusions, thoughts relevant, goal directed, ...


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