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Weyant v. Colvin

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

November 7, 2014

MICHAEL D. WEYANT, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM

YVETTE KANE, District Judge.

The above-captioned action is one seeking review of a decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying Plaintiff Michael D. Weyant's claim for social security disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income benefits. For the reasons that follow, the Court will affirm the Commissioner's decision.

I. BACKGROUND

On February 23, 2012, Weyant filed protectively[1] an application for disability insurance benefits and an application for supplemental security income benefits. Tr. 12, 71, 166, 168-173 and 185.[2] The applications were initially denied by the Bureau of Disability Determination[3] on July 30, 2012. Tr. 12 and 89-93. On August 24, 2012, Weyant requested a hearing before an administrative law judge ("ALJ") which was held on April 17, 2013. Tr. 12, 28-70 and 96-98. Weyant was represented by counsel at the hearing. Id . Weyant alleged that he became disabled on January 23, 2008, because of bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, [4] severe headaches and daily vomiting of an unknown etiology.[5] Tr. 32, 72, 89, 189 and 245. Weyant further claimed that he was presumptively disabled under the Social Security Administration's Listings of Impairments set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations, specifically Listing 12.04, Affective Disorders, section A (1)(a)-(I), (2)(a)-(h) and (3) and section B. Tr. 245-246.

The requirements of Listing 12.04 in relevant part are as follows:

12.04 Affective Disorders: Characterized by a disturbance of mood, accompanied by a full or partial manic or depressive syndrome. Mood refers to a prolonged emotion that colors the whole psychic life; it generally involves either depression or elation.
The required level of severity for these disorders is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied...
A. Medically documented persistence, either continuous or intermittent, of one of the following:
1. Depressive syndrome characterized by at least four of the following:
a. Anhedonia or pervasive loss of interest in almost all activities; or
b. Appetite disturbance with change in weight; or
c. Sleep disturbance; or
d. Psychomotor agitation or retardation; or
e. Decreased energy;
f. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness; or
g. Difficulty concentrating or thinking; or
h. Thoughts of suicide; or
I. Hallucinations, delusions or paranoid thinking;
or
2. Manic syndrome characterized by at least three of the following:
a. Hyperactivity; or
b. Pressure of speech; or
c. Flight of ideas; or
d. Inflated self-esteem; or
e. Decreased need for ...

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