United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
KEITH BALL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
cause is before the Court regarding the appeal by Amanda
Dorothy Jones of the Commissioner of Social Security's
final decision denying Jones's application for a period
of disability, Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”), and Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”). In rendering this Memorandum Opinion and
Order, the Court has carefully reviewed the Administrative
Record  regarding Jones's claims (including the
administrative decision, the medical records, and a
transcript of the hearing before the Administrative Law Judge
("ALJ")), Plaintiff's Motion  and
Memorandum , and Defendant's Response  and
Memorandum . The parties have consented to proceed before
the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge , and the
District Judge has entered an Order of Reference . 28
U.S.C. § 636(c); Fed.R.Civ.P. 73.
reasons discussed in this Memorandum Opinion and Order, the
undersigned finds that the Commissioner's decision should
filed her application for a period of disability, DIB, and
SSI on February 26, 2014, and alleged a disability onset date
of November 1, 2007, when she was twenty years of age. 
at 90, 168. In her application, she alleged that she
was disabled due to a learning disability; knee, shoulder,
and ankle problems, including chronic pain in those joints;
depression; granuloma annulare; a learning disability;
premenstrual dysphoric disorder; depth perception; short term
memory loss; and “tail bone not straight.”
Id. at 99, 174. At the time of her application, she
was five feet, three inches tall, and weighed one hundred
was born on December 29, 1986. Id. at 99. Thus, she
was considered a “younger individual” at the time
of her onset date of November 1, 2007, and on the date the
ALJ issued his decision, February 29, 2016. Id. at
24. She first became insured on April 1, 2008, and was last
insured on March 31, 2010. Id. at 90. Jones attended
special education classes through the twelfth grade, and she
received a certificate of completion when she finished high
school in 2006. Id. at 38, 175. She completed a
class on floral design at a local college. Id. at
has a brief work history. She worked as a drug store stock
clerk from March to May 2006. Id. at 98. Thereafter,
she worked for two months at a grocery store as a clerk in
the in the produce department, where she cut and displayed
fruit. Id. at 44-45, 167. From June 2006 to May
2009, she worked as a cleaner for an industrial cleaning
company, at which her mother was her direct supervisor.
Id. at 45-47. During the hearing before the ALJ, her
mother testified that Jones would work only one to two days
out of a week during her employment at the cleaning company.
Id. at 81. At the hearing, both the claimant and her
mother testified that Jones does not have a driver's
license. Id. at 51-52, 85.
Social Security Administration denied Jones's application
initially and upon reconsideration. Jones requested a
hearing, which was held on February 12, 2016, in Hattiesburg,
Mississippi. Id. at 29. At the hearing, she was
represented by counsel, and a vocational expert testified.
Id. On February 29, 2016, the ALJ issued a decision
finding that Jones was not disabled. Id. at 14-24.
The Appeals Council denied her request for review on May 11,
2016, id. at 1, and this appeal followed.
the briefs have summarized Jones's medical history, a
review of Plaintiff's medical conditions will aid in the
consideration of this case. The records show that Jones had a
history of endometriosis and abdominal pain, for which she
underwent a complete hysterectomy in October 2015.  at
426, 437. At the hearing in February 2016, she testified that
the surgery had helped her abdominal pain. Id. at
hearing, Jones testified that she was born with birth defects
that were the source of pain in her right knee, right ankle,
and right shoulder. Id. at 48-50. She explained that
both of her knees pointed to the right, and that her right
shoulder was too big for her body. Id. at 49.
Although a shoulder sprain was first identified on April 10,
2007, Jones did not complain of joint pain at a routine visit
two days later with her treating nurse practitioner, Jodi T.
Powell, APRN-NPC. Id. at 486-487. At subsequent,
routine appointments in April 2011 and March 2014, Jones
reported “no arthralgias, ” but complained of
shoulder joint pain in March 2014. Id. at 470-471,
478. At a September 2014 routine check up with Powell, Jones
complained of generalized joint pain, and Powell commented
that Jones had “scoliosis to the right.”
Id. at 464-465. However, in January 2016, Powell
treated Jones for a rib contusion resulting from “rough
housing” with friends. Id. at 458. At the same
appointment, Jones denied joint stiffness. Id. at
also initially diagnosed with Jones with seasonal pattern
depression in March 2014, which coincided with the
dissolution of her marriage. Id. at 470-472. At that
time, Powell prescribed Lexapro, which she renewed for Jones
at a subsequent check up in September 2014. Id. at
464. At that check up, Jones reported that she thought the
Lexapro was helping. Id. After a routine visit in
March 2015, Powell commented that Jones was currently in
therapy. Id. at 462.
September 2014, Jones sought a psychological evaluation from
the Pearl River County Hospital, where a nurse practitioner
saw her. Id. at 418. The nurse practitioner
diagnosed Jones with depression, and she noted that
Jones's condition was currently responding to treatment.
Id. at 419. From September 2014 until January 2015,
Jones sought treatment on three occasions from the same nurse
practitioner, who prescribed a sleep aid and medication for
treatment of depression, and who commented that Jones's
condition was responding to treatment. Id. at 421,
423, 425. It does not appear that she sought psychological
counseling on a regular basis until February 2016, about the
time of her hearing. Id. at 510.
H. Zakaras, Ph.D., conducted a consultative psychological
evaluation of Jones in July 2014. Id. at 404. Dr.
Zakaras described Jones as “polite and cooperative,
” with “good social skills.” Id.
at 405. The examiner also described that Jones was oriented
in all spheres, and that her thought processes were logical
and goal oriented. Id. Dr. Zakaras administered the
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale IV, on which Jones had a
verbal comprehension score of 78, a perceptual reasoning
score of 79, a working memory score of 83, a processing speed
score of 79, and a full scale IQ score of 75. Id. at
405. Dr. Zakaras also administered the Wide Range Achievement
Test IV, which showed that Jones functioned on a third grade
level in reading and spelling, and in the upper second grade
level in math. Id. Dr. Zakaras diagnosed Jones with
a learning disorder, not otherwise specified. Id.
Dr. Zakaras concluded that Jones “seems capable of
performing simple routine repetitive tasks. She appears
capable of following and understanding simple directions. She
appears capable of relating to others and interacting with
others.” Id. at 406. Dr. Zakaras also
concluded that Jones “appears capable of very basic
money management but may need some assistance with managing
her finances.” Id.
treating nurse practitioner, Jodi Powell, and primary care
provider, Michael Casey, M.D., signed a Medical Assessment of
Ability to do Work-Related Activities, and a Physical
Residual Functional Capacity Questionnaire on September 28,
2014. Id. at 407-414. In the medical
assessment, the form reflects that they diagnosed Jones with
Axis I: depression, Axis II: learning disability, Axis III:
diffuse joint pain, and Axis IV: divorce. Id. at
407. Regarding occupational adjustments, they concluded that
she would have slight limitations in her ability to relate to
co-workers and interact with a supervisor. Id. at
408. They found that she would have moderate limitations in
her ability to follow work rules, deal with the public, use
judgment, and maintain attention and concentration.
Id. They also found that she would have extreme
limitation in dealing with work stresses and functioning
independently. Id. The form indicates that Jones
would have an extreme limitation in understanding,
remembering, and carrying out complex job instructions;
moderate limitation in understanding, remembering, and
carrying out detailed, but not complex job instructions; and
slight limitation in understanding, remembering, and carrying
out simple job instructions. Id. The form indicates
that Jones would have a slight limitation in maintaining
personal appearance and moderate limitation in behaving in an
emotionally stable manner, relating predictably in social
situations, and demonstrating reliability. Id. at
409. The form indicates that Jones has delayed processing,
and that she cannot manage benefits in her own best interest.
Physical Residual Functional Capacity Questionnaire indicates
that Powell and Casey diagnosed Jones with depression and a
learning disability, and that Jones's prognosis was fair.
Id. at 410. The form described that she had moderate
pain in her right shoulder, knee, and ankle, that she
experienced daily and with activity since 2006. Id.
They identified the clinical findings and objective signs as
crepitus to the right knee, right shoulder range of movement,
and slowed speech. Id. The form describes that Jones
was being treated with daily Lexapro for depression, and
another medication, which is illegible. Id.
questionnaire stated that her impairments will last at least
twelve months, that she is not a malingerer, that emotional
factors contribute to her symptoms, and that the
psychological conditions of depression and anxiety affect her
physical condition. Id. at 411. The form described
that her experience of pain and other symptoms were
constantly severe enough to interfere with her attention and
concentration. Id. The questionnaire stated that
Jones is incapable of even a “low stress” job
because she is learning disabled and unable to make hard
decisions, and that she had pain in her right knee, shoulder,
and ankle. Id. The questionnaire stated that Jones
could walk less than two city blocks due to joint pain.
questionnaire indicated that Jones could only sit thirty
minutes at one time and stand for fifteen minutes.
Id. at 412. Powell indicated that Jones could sit
and stand/walk for less than two hours in an eight-hour day.
She also stated that Jones would need to walk around after
fifteen minutes, for five minutes at a time. Id.
Powell stated that Jones would not need a job that permitted
shifting positions at will, but would need to take
unscheduled breaks to rest for longer than ten minutes before
returning to work. Id.
estimated that Jones could occasionally lift and carry less
than ten pounds occasionally, but never left and carry more
than ten pounds. Id. at 413. According to the form,
Jones could occasionally twist, rarely stoop, and never
crouch, climb ladders, or climb stairs. Id. Although
no significant limitations were indicated for repetitive
reaching, handling, or fingering, the nurse practitioner
limited the use of hands/fingers/arms to a small percentage
of an eight-hour workday. Id.
form concluded that Jones's impairments were likely to
produce “good days” and “bad days, ”
and that she would miss more than four days per month from
work as a result of the impairments or treatment.
Id. at 414. The questionnaire also stated that Jones
“is unable to provide care for herself 100%. She
requires assistance to complete tasks.” Id.
also has been diagnosed with a skin condition, granuloma
annulare. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is a “skin
condition that most commonly consists of raised, reddish or
skin-colored bumps (lesions) that form ring patterns, ”
usually on the hands and feet. See
In most cases, the skin condition is not painful and usually
disappears within two years. Id. It is also
treatable with a variety of medications, including
corticosteroid creams, ointments, ...