United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
DiClerico, Jr. United States District Judge
Irish seeks judicial review, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
405(g), of the decision of the Acting Commissioner of Social
Security, denying his application for supplemental security
income benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act,
42 U.S.C. § 1381, et seq. Irish moves to reverse,
contending that the Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) erred in assessing his residual
functional capacity and in finding that there were jobs he
could do despite his impairments. The Acting Commissioner
moves to affirm.
reviewing the final decision of the Acting Commissioner in a
social security case, the court “is limited to
determining whether the ALJ deployed the proper legal
standards and found facts upon the proper quantum of
evidence.” Nguyen v. Chater, 172 F.3d 31, 35
(1st Cir. 1999); accord Seavey v. Barnhart, 276 F.3d
1, 9 (1st Cir. 2001). The court defers to the ALJ's
factual findings as long as they are supported by substantial
evidence. § 405(g); see also Fischer v. Colvin,
831 F.3d 31, 34 (1st Cir. 2016). If the Acting Commissioner
used the correct legal standard and the findings are
supported by substantial evidence, the court must affirm the
decision, even if the record could support a different
conclusion. Irlanda Ortiz v. Sec'y of Health
& Human Servs., 955 F.2d 765, 770 (1st Cir. 1991);
Evangelista v. Sec'y of Health & Human
Servs., 826 F.2d 136, 144 (1st Cir. 1987).
was twenty-eight years old when he filed an application for
supplemental security income benefits in December of 2014. He
has a high school education.
his childhood, Irish lost his left eye in an accident and was
the victim of abuse perpetrated by his father. His father was
removed from the home when he was ten or eleven. His mother
applied for disability for Irish while he was a child. Irish
wears a prosthetic left eye.
was arrested in November of 2013 on federal charges. Pursuant
to a court order, Irish was evaluated by Dr. Samantha DiMisa
to determine whether he was competent to stand trial. Dr.
DiMisa diagnosed posttraumatic stress disorder, attention-
deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and anti-social personality
disorder and found that Irish's prognosis was optimistic.
Dr. DiMisa concluded that Irish understood the legal
proceedings against him, was able to assist counsel in his
defense and make decisions regarding his defense, and was
competent to stand trial.
December 11, 2014, Irish pleaded to two of the charges
against him and was sentenced to eighteen months of
imprisonment with three years of supervised release. He was
released based on time served on February 20, 2015.
he was released from prison, Irish had an evaluation of his
prosthetic eye at Eyesight New Hampshire in March of 2015. He
was diagnosed with acute conjunctivitis. Irish also began
mental health counseling in March of 2015 when he left prison
with Counselor Kris Geno at RTT Associates.
of 2015, Irish met with Dr. Robert Prescott for a
consultative psychological examination related to his
application for social security benefits. Dr. Prescott
reviewed Irish's history in addition to talking to Irish
about his past mental health issues and treatment. Dr.
Prescott diagnosed posttraumatic stress disorder and
antisocial personality disorder and noted that Irish's
ability to handle moderate to high levels of stress was
impaired but he could make basic decisions and interact
politely with others in a work environment, although it would
cause distress. He gave Irish a guarded prognosis because of
his questionable insight and legal record.
May of 2015, state agency psychologist Dr. Stephen Kleinman
reviewed Irish's records and prepared a residual
functional capacity opinion. Dr. Kleinman found that Irish
had marked limitation in his ability to interact with the
public, moderate limitation in his ability to ask simple
questions and ask for assistance, and moderate limitation in
his ability to get along with co-workers. Dr. Kleinman found
that generally Irish would do poorly in interacting with the
public but could interact with other people to do simple
of 2015, a state agency physician, Dr. Maghana Karande,
reviewed Irish's records and stated that Irish's
vision impairment was not severe.
continued regular counseling sessions with Counselor Geno.
Geno continued to record the results of counseling sessions
through the summer of 2015. By the fall, Geno noted that
Irish had begun to miss appointments because of issues,
including his wife's health, his landlord, and problems