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Yvette R. anderson v. Michael J. Astrue

September 4, 2012

YVETTE R. ANDERSON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Karen E. Schreier Chief Judge

ORDER AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF COMMISSIONER

Plaintiff, Yvette R. Anderson, moves for reversal of the Commissioner of Social Security's decision denying her application for supplemental security income (SSI) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. The Commissioner opposes this motion. The court affirms.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On December 3, 2007, Anderson applied for SSI and alleged an onset date of April 1, 2007. AR 122, 149.*fn1 On March 27, 2008, the Social Security Administration denied Anderson's application. AR 69. On April 21, 2008, Anderson requested reconsideration, which was denied on July 16, 2008. AR 72, 76. Anderson then requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). AR 79. The ALJ held a hearing on January 28, 2010, after which the ALJ determined that Anderson was not disabled, and, thus, was not entitled to SSI benefits. AR 14- 24. On May 3, 2010, Anderson requested that the Appeals Council review the decision. AR 8-9.

On April 1, 2011, the Appeals Council denied Anderson's request for review. AR 1. Anderson commenced this action on May 11, 2011, seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's determination that she is not disabled. Docket 1.

FACTS

Anderson was born July 12, 1965. AR 200. At the time of the hearing before the ALJ, Anderson was 44 years old. AR 34. Anderson went to the tenth grade in school and attended special education classes;*fn2 she has not received her GED.

AR 34-35, 56. Anderson has alleged problems with vision, depression, anxiety, and mental retardation.*fn3

Anderson has worked as a housekeeper, laborer, and clothes sorter. AR 155. She has been unable to generate a significant amount of income in any particular year, with $5,110.68 in 1993 being her largest year's income.*fn4 AR 145. Anderson's two most recent jobs include working as a housekeeper at a motel and as a clothes sorter, holding each position in 2007. AR 148. When asked why she no longer worked as a housekeeper, Anderson testified, "Because they said I wasn't doing a proper cleaning job because I didn't have these glasses then." AR 37. Anderson also testified that she left her clothes sorter position "because of stress, anxiety, and also [she] was getting sexually harassed." AR 37. Anderson currently cleans her elderly neighbor's home once a week for around $20. AR 46.

I. Vision Problems

On March 29, 2007, at Shopko Optical, just prior to Anderson's alleged onset date, Anderson received medical attention for her eyes for the first time since her childhood. AR 38-39, 206-207.*fn5 Anderson was prescribed glasses at this appointment. AR 39.

On March 4, 2008, Anderson saw Dr. Richard T. Tschetter pursuant to a referral by the Disability Determination Services. AR 208-09. Dr. Tschetter noted that Anderson "apparently has gotten along well without glasses until two or three years ago when she found that she needs them." AR 209. Anderson was diagnosed with small angle esotropia*fn6 and suppression amblyopia*fn7 in her right eye. AR 210. Dr. Tschetter determined that Anderson's visual acuity was 20/400 in her right eye and 20/200 in her left eye without correction, and her visual acuity was 20/60 in her right eye and 20/30 in her left eye with correction. AR 209. Dr. Tschetter told Anderson that "she will simply have to wear the glasses to get used to them as all farsighted people, particularly with a prescription as high as she has, will get a moderate amount of magnification of all images[.]" AR 210.

Anderson was also examined by Dr. Paul Greenfield on January 7, 2009. AR 273. Dr. Greenfield's impression was that Anderson had glaucoma*fn8 and amblyopia, and he gave Anderson a new prescription for glasses. AR 273.

Dr. Greenfield noted that Anderson "should do well with these devices." AR 273. In fact, Dr. Greenfield opined that with a new prescription, Anderson's visual acuity would be 20/30 in her right eye and 20/20 in her left eye. AR 273.

Dr. Kevin Whittle completed Anderson's residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. AR 218. In completing the RFC assessment, Dr. Whittle noted that Anderson "does have [a] medically determinable vision impairment. However, symptomology can be improved with correction." AR 218. He also found that Anderson's near acuity is limited. AR 216. Dr. Whittle further opined that Anderson should not work in hazardous environments. AR 220.

During her ALJ hearing, Anderson testified that she can see pretty well when wearing her glasses, stating that she can read newspaper print and directions on a pizza box. AR 39-41. Anderson also testified that she has trouble with depth perception and that she gets ...


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