United States District Court, D. Nebraska
TILO'E C. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner of Social Security; Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
F. BATAILLON SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the court on plaintiff Tilo'e C.
Williams' appeal of an adverse decision by the Social
Security Administration. Filing No. 1 (Complaint).
This is an action for judicial review of a final decision of
the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(“the Commissioner”) that plaintiff is not
disabled. The plaintiff appeals the Commissioner's
decision to deny his application for Social Security benefits
under Title II and Title XVI of the Social Security Act, 42
U.S.C. § 401 et. seq. and 42 U.S.C. § 1381 et seq.,
respectively. This court has jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g) and 42 U.S.C. § 1383(c)(3). Upon review of
the record, this court concludes that the decision of the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) denying benefits
is not supported by substantial evidence. Accordingly, the
decision of the ALJ, and thereby the Commissioner, is
November 26, 2012, plaintiff protectively filed an
application for supplemental security income. Filing No.
12-1 at 14 (ALJ Hearing Decision). The Commissioner
initially denied plaintiff's claim on February 28, 2013,
and again upon reconsideration on May 9, 2013. Plaintiff
filed a request for a hearing on June 3, 2013, which was held
on September 11, 2014. Id. The ALJ issued an
unfavorable decision on November 4, 2014. Id. at 11.
The Commissioner then denied plaintiff's request to
review the ALJ's decision on December 22, 2015, thus
making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the
Commissioner. Id. at 2 (Notice of Appeals Council
Action). Following the denial, plaintiff filed a complaint
before this court.
who grew up in Omaha, is thirty-six years old and currently
married “but separated.” Filing No. 12-1 at
37 (Transcript of Oral Hearing). He has four children,
ranging in age from eight years old to seventeen years old.
Id. His current wife is not the mother of any of his
four children, and plaintiff claims to be “way
behind” on child support for three of his children.
Id. Plaintiff complains of headaches, back pain, and
mental health problems. Filing No. 12-5 at 60
(Questionnaire). Plaintiff also complains of anxiety, bad
mood, depression, sleep disturbance, and low libido.
Filing No. 12-6 at 112 (Progress Notes). He claims
that he “get[s] angry easily and react[s] aggressively,
” and does not like being around people. Filing No.
12-5 at 60 (Questionnaire). Plaintiff states that he is
currently on Risperidone, Cialis, Mirtazapine, and
Fluoxetine. Id. at 57 (Medications). As of October
14, 2013, he was diagnosed with major depression, single
episode with psychotic features by his psychiatrist,
Vithyalakshmi Selvaraj, M.D., who treated him from October
14, 2013 to December 16, 2013 and then again on May 14, 2014.
Filing No. 12-6 at 97-98 (Progress Notes). Plaintiff
has also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, unspecified,
by Thomas Guck, PhD, who treated him from March 26, 2014 to
April 30, 2014. Id. at 107 (Progress Notes). His
alleged onset date is November 26, 2012. Filing No. 12-1
at 32 (Transcript of Oral Hearing).
“remembers being depressed as a kid, ” and being
“physically abused by his mom . . . whenever she [got]
high.” Id. at 96. He reported that his mother,
Beverly Williams, had a cocaine dependence. Id. at
97. Plaintiff states that his mother is now disabled and he
“can't abandon her.” Id. at 96. He
claims to relive the experience of the abuse at the hands of
his mother “on a daily basis, ” getting
“flashbacks” every time he sees her. Id.
Plaintiff dropped out of school in the ninth grade, and
claims he cannot read or write anything more than his name.
Filing No. 12-1 at 39 (Transcript of Oral Hearing);
Filing No. 12-5 at 5 (Disability Report). He cannot
read a newspaper or write even a brief note. Filing No.
12-1 at 63 (Transcript of Oral Hearing). Plaintiff's
educational records are replete with disciplinary reports,
ranging from instances of verbal aggression to physical
confrontation. Filing No. 12-5 at 77, 81 (Education
claims a “life altering event” happened to him
when he was fourteen years old. Filing No. 12-1 at
62 (Transcript of Oral Hearing). He was in a severe car
accident, leaving him with a brain injury. Id. He
claims that after the accident, he did not attend school as
much as he should have. Id. This is corroborated by
a disciplinary report from October 7, 1993, which stated:
“[Plaintiff] has a history of average IQ scores until
[November 1992] when his full scale IQ was 69. [Plaintiff]
was struck by a van and suffered a concussion. . . . His
academic performance has markedly decreased over the last 2
yrs [sic]. He is extremely distractible and interacts with
his environment in a physically confrontive [sic]
Filing No. 12-5 at 81 (Education Records). The
report went on to state that “[Plaintiff's] peers
do not seek him out and avoid him as much as possible.”
On January 10, 1994, school officials decided to reduce the
length of a normal school day to only half a day for
plaintiff, finding that plaintiff could not function a full
day in a regular school setting.
at 78. Transcripts from Omaha Public Schools show that
plaintiff received failing grades in special education
classes, even after all of the curriculum was
“modified” and a “1:1 strategy [was]
implemented.” Id. at 70-72, 89.
educational history is summed up best by one disciplinary
report in particular:
“[Plaintiff] does not begin a task without teacher
assistance. If a teacher withdraws his attention, [plaintiff]
will engage in many off-task behaviors. He is extremely
distracted by his environment and oftentimes it appears that
[plaintiff] misinterprets his surroundings. He is very select
with adult interaction and he appears to mistrust many
authority figures. He appears to cope with his environment
via verbal and physical aggression and he does not accept
Id. at 89. One teacher even went so far as to report
that “[Plaintiff] was the most frightening student
I've dealt with . . . in-house because of his physically
aggressive behavior.” Id. at 94.
dropping out of school, plaintiff was in and out of prison.
Filing No. 12-1 at39-40 (Transcript of
Oral Hearing). He reports serving time in prison on two
different occasions. Id. at 40. Plaintiff first
served time in state prison for “like a year and a
half” for “controlled substance and fire
arms” charges.Id. Approximately two years after
serving his first sentence, plaintiff reports being
incarcerated in federal prison from 2005 to 2012 for a felon
in possession of a firearm charge.Id. at 41.
Plaintiff claims he was sentenced to “100 and some
months, ” but was released early to a halfway house for
good behavior. Id. Plaintiff reports staying at the
halfway house for “six months or so” and looking
for employment while there. Id. He reported getting
jobs through Staff Labor West, a temp agency. Id. at
43. After leaving the halfway house, plaintiff moved in with
his mother. ...