Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

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.

Winkle v. Berryhill

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

February 12, 2018

ROBERT K. WINKLE, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          District Judge Thomas M. Rose


          Sharon L. Ovington United States Magistrate Judge

         I. Introduction

         The Social Security Administration denied Plaintiff Robert K. Winkle's August 5, 2013 application (protectively filed) for Supplemental Security Income. The denial occurred mainly from the determination by Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Gregory G. Kenyon that Plaintiff was not under a “disability” as defined under the Social Security Act.

         Plaintiff brings the present case contending that ALJ Kenyon's decision is flawed. He contends that ALJ Kenyon failed to properly evaluate the opinions provided by his treating psychiatrist Dr. Mark A. Smith. Plaintiff also argues that the ALJ's assessment of Plaintiff's residual functional capacity-or, the most he could do despite his impairments-did not account for all of his physical and mental limitations. And, Plaintiff maintains that the ALJ failed to place proper weight on the opinions of his treating social worker and mental-health therapist.

         The Commissioner takes the counterpoint on each of Plaintiff's contentions and seeks an Order affirming the ALJ's decision.

         II. Background

         A. Plaintiff

         Plaintiff asserts that his benefits-qualifying disability began on November 15, 2011. This places him in the category of a “younger person” under social security regulations. 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c). He remained in this category on the date he filed his application at age 34. Plaintiff earned a GED and took some college classes. He has minimal employment experience. (Doc. #8, PageID #s 275-80).

         During a hearing held by ALJ Kenyon, Plaintiff testified that he'd experienced episodes of blacking out-“it usually happens with a migraine.” Id. at 85. Once (in 2014) he blacked out, fell, and hit the back of his head and neck on a wall. The result: He fractured his C5 vertebra. He acknowledged that his neurologist had the blackouts under control, but he still blacked-out twice a month. Id. at 85-86.

         Plaintiff explained that also he suffered from tremors in his hands and arms, and he has restless leg syndrome. The tremors occur every time he attempts to do something, even when he's not doing anything. Id. at 86.

         Plaintiff acknowledged that he has a history of bipolar disorder. He described it as making his mood like a roller coaster. He testified, “Sometimes I go manic. Sometimes I go down. It's just my moods can change like that….” Id. at 88. One example he provided involved a failed relationship: “I was dating a girl a few months back, and she absolutely did nothing wrong really, but she just said something, and I just went off on her. And she ended up breaking up with me because of it.” Id. Plaintiff also experienced anger outbursts with a supervisor at work and with his father. Id. at 89-90.

         When Plaintiff had a manic phase, it lasted anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour. Id. at 103. He usually experienced these a few times each week. Id. Sometimes (30% of the time) he had only one manic phase during a week. Id.

         Plaintiff has crying spells once or twice a month. He also “has all kinds of trouble concentrating.” Id. at 91. He explained, “That's one of the reasons why I don't drive a long distance…. And my background, a lot of my education is in computers, and I used to be able to build a computer, basically, with my eyes closed. And now I can't even focus enough to do hardly any computer work at all.” Id. at 91-92. He continued:

My nephew wanted-he ordered all the parts and wanted to build his own computer. And I couldn't even focus enough and my hands were so shaky I couldn't even do it for him. I had to sit there and just give him verbal directions and talk him through it so he could do it himself….

Id. at 92.

         When Plaintiff's mood is down, he gets “real depressed.” He explained, “I don't even hardly want to get out of bed. And then it just go[es] up and down.” Id. at 88. He does not leave the house much. He goes out every other day to walk his dog. He also picks up prescriptions and goes to the grocery store. At one point, Plaintiff had a friend he talked with on a daily basis, but he had not seen him in well over a year. Plaintiff declines to do things with his friend because he does not “really get any pleasure out of going out or doing a lot of things that used to be fun for [him].” Id. at 91. When he is depressed he has crying spells and will sometimes “just cry out of nowhere.” Id.

         Plaintiff told the ALJ that he sees a therapist, Mr. Newport, every two weeks. This gives him the chance “to vent and talk about a lot of things.” Id. at 93. As the days go by, however, he gets frustrated. He testified:

I walk in in worse shape than when I was in there. And he's [Mr. Newport has] even made comments that came off the wrong way, and I kind of…, went off on him, which I apologized for afterwards. But it's just-if things come across wrong, I just-my bipolar just throws me up, and I just freak out, I guess-freak out, just yell, things like that-yell and accuse them of trying to do things that they're not really trying to do and all that stuff.

Id. These episodes happen about two or three times a week, primarily with his father.

         Plaintiff told ALJ Kenyon that he has hallucinations of people coming after him. A hallucination like this once caused him to jump up and his father kept trying to talk him down. Plaintiff, however, had difficulty calming down because he had “seen a bunch of people with axes and stuff like that that were coming to get [him].” Id. at 94. He also sees his mother, who has passed away. He has conversations with her (“She talks to me, and I talk back.”). Id. He described his other hallucinations as involving people coming at him, telling him he is going to die and he's “not worth anything….” Id. He added, “And a lot of times it happens when I'm asleep. So it will wake me up out of a dead sleep, and I just start seeing things.” Id. After his psychiatrist changed his medication, the ...

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.