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Jacquet v. Colvin

United States District Court, Third Circuit

December 1, 2013

CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.


CHRISTOPHER J. BURKE, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Valorie H. Jacquet ("Jacquet" or "Plaintiff') appeals from a decision of Carolyn W. Colvin, the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner" or "Defendant"), denying her application for disability insurance benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-434.[1] The Court has jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

Presently pending before the Court are cross-motions for summary judgment filed by Jacquet and the Commissioner. (D.I. 13, 17) Jacquet asks the Court to direct that she be awarded benefits, or in the alternative, remand for further proceedings. (D.I. 14 at 23) The Commissioner opposes this motion and requests that the Court affirm the decision. (D.I. 19 at 36) For the reasons set forth below, the Court recommends that Jacquet's motion for summary judgment be GRANTED-IN-PART and DENIED-IN-PART, that the Commissioner's motion for summary judgment be DENIED, and that the case be remanded for limited further proceedings as is described in this Report and Recommendation.


A. Procedural History

Jacquet filed applications for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") on November 23, 2004, alleging disability beginning on August 1, 2004. (D.I. 11 ("Transcript" and hereinafter "Tr.") at 85-87, 549; D.I. 14 at 1; D.I. 19 at 1) On June 15, 2005, Jacquet's application was denied. (Tr. at 34-38) On August 8, 2005, Jacquet filed a request for reconsideration, and on September 26, 2005, the application was once again denied. (Tr. at 39-45) Jacquet then filed a request for a hearing (the "first hearing") before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") on October 21, 2005. (Tr. at 46) The first hearing was held on April 4, 2007. (Tr. at 470) On August 16, 2007, the ALJ issued a partially favorable decision (the "first decision"), concluding that Jacquet was not disabled prior to September 22, 2006, but became disabled on that date (the date of Jacquet's 50th birthday).[2] (Tr. at 13-31; D.I. 19 at 1) Jacquet then requested review by the Appeals Council of the unfavorable portion of the first decision (Tr. at 11), which was denied by the Appeals Council on November 10, 2008. (Tr. at 5-7)

On December 16, 2008, Jacquet filed a Complaint in this Court to challenge the unfavorable portion of the first decision. (Tr. at 589) On July 16, 2009, the Commissioner filed a unopposed motion to remand the proceedings to refer Jacquet's case to an ALJ for further evaluation; the motion was granted on July 21, 2009. (Tr. at 583, 590-593) Thereafter, the Appeals Council ordered that on remand, the ALJ should, inter alia: (1) address the impact certain manipulative limitations cited by Dr. Michael Mark, a neurologist, would have on the ALJ's decision; (2) further evaluate Jacquet's mental and musculoskeletal impairments; (3) explicitly assess the credibility of two witnesses who testified at the first administrative hearing; and (4) address how the her finding that Jacquet could perform certain kinds of sedentary work could co-exist with her finding that Jacquet could work as a security guard, which is typically classified as a light work occupation. (Tr. at 586-87)

On June 25, 2010, the ALJ held another hearing (the "second hearing") pursuant to the order of the Appeals Council. (Tr. at 623-46) On July 17, 2010, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision (the "second decision"), finding that Jacquet was not disabled for the period of August 1, 2004 through September 21, 2006. (Tr. at 546-73)

On November 1, 2010, Jacquet filed a Complaint in this Court seeking judicial review of the ALJ's second decision. (D.I. 2) On July 26, 2011, Jacquet filed her motion for summary judgment. (D.I. 13) The Commissioner opposed Jacquet's motion, and filed a cross-motion for summary judgment on September 26, 2011. (D.I. 17) On March 30, 2012, Judge Sue L. Robinson referred this case to the Court to conduct all proceedings and to hear and determine all motions. (D.I. 22)

B. Factual Background

At the time of the first hearing in 2007, Jacquet was 50 years old. (Tr. at 481) She has a twelfth grade education, (Tr. at 100), and last worked on or about September 15, 2004, when she was a cook and supervisor at Dover Healthcare Associates, (Tr. at 96, 483).

1. Plaintiff's Medical History, Treatment, and Condition

Jacquet alleged that she became disabled on August 1, 2004 and has been disabled thereafter. (Tr. at 46, 95-96) Thus, the relevant period of alleged disability at issue is from August 1, 2004 to September 21, 2006 (the date on which the Commissioner otherwise found Jacquet to be disabled). (Tr. at 549-72; D.I. 19 at 5)

a. Physical Medical History in 2004

Between August of2004 and August of2005, Jacquet visited Dr. Sandeep Mann, M.D., her primary care physician. (Tr. 259-91, 316) Dr. Mann noted after a visit on August 9, 2004 that Jacquet complained of pain in her feet that was "severe at times." (Tr. at 289-90) Dr. Mann also noted that Jacquet had tenderness in both feet but no swelling, tenderness, effusion, or deformity in her joints or spine. (Tr. at 290) As he would in each of Jacquet's visits into early 2005, Dr. Mann noted that Jacquet's gait was "[n]ormal[, ]" that he counseled Jacquet on her smoking, instructed her to exercise by walking two miles three to five times a week, and discussed whether she should join a weight reduction program in order to address her obesity. (Tr. at 277-79, 282-83, 287-88, 290-91)

On August 13, 2004, Jacquet visited Dr. Brett A. Chicko, DPM. (Tr. at 198-99) Dr. Chicko noted after this visit that Jacquet has an advanced form of pes planus valgus, which Dr. Chicko believed was leading to some of her symptoms of burning, numbness, and pain in her toes. (Tr. at 198) Dr. Chicko also noted that Jacquet showed signs of nerve entrapment, for which he gave various injections; Jacquet reported that this did not stop all of the pain, and Dr. Chicko noted that Jacquet was still altering her gait. (Tr. at 199) On August 19, 2004, Jacquet returned to Dr. Chicko's office, reporting that she was feeling a little better and that orthotics Dr. Chicko recommended had helped, but that she still felt like she was "walking on crushed rocks[.]" (Tr. at 197) Dr. Chicko also noted the presence of degenerative joint disease mid-foot and heel pain syndrome bilaterally. ( Id. )

On August 23, 2004, Jacquet visited Dr. Chicko again, reporting bad foot pain bilaterally and claiming that the pain was becoming worse. (Tr. at 197) Dr. Chicko noted that prior heel pain syndrome was almost resolved, and that the type of pain at issue seemed to be neuropathy. ( Id. ) He prescribed Neurontin 300 mg once daily, and scheduled an appointment for Jacquet with neurologist Janine Islam, M.D., for a nerve conduction velocity test and EMG. ( Id. ) Jacquet returned to Dr. Mann's office on August 25, 2004, where her foot-related symptoms were similar to her prior visit. (Tr. at 285-88) Dr. Mann also educated Jacquet about diabetes. (Tr. at 287-88)

On September 7, 2004, Jacquet visited Dr. Islam for the first time, and reported a numbness and burning in her feet. (Tr. at 311) Jacquet's gait was antalgic with no focal weakness. ( Id. ) Dr. Islam found that Jacquet was experiencing peripheral sensorimotor neuropathy, noting that although an EMG could not discern the cause, that this was the type of neuropathy most commonly seen with diabetes. (Tr. at 313)

On September 10, 2004, Jacquet returned to Dr. Chicko (Tr. at 196) She relayed that she was a confirmed diabetic and that her pain due to neuropathy had improved but had not yet resolved. ( Id. ) Dr. Chicko increased Jacquet's dosage of Neurontin to four tablets per day. ( Id. ) In a later October 7, 2004 visit, Jacquet claimed bilateral foot pain even while taking seven tablets of Neurontin a day. (Tr. at 195) Jacquet further reported that the Neurontin made her lightheaded and that she was having trouble at work. ( Id. ) Dr. Chicko instructed Jacquet to continue this dosage of Neurontin and prescribed Percocet. ( Id. )

Jacquet returned to Dr. Chicko's office a week later on October 14, 2004, explaining that she was having trouble walking or driving at certain times in the day. (Tr. at 195) She said that the Neurontin was "making her vision blurry" and that even in taking it, "she is still having discomfort walking and she cannot perform a full day of work." ( Id. ) Dr. Chicko noted diabetic peripheral, sensory, and motor neuropathy bilaterally, and reported that, [a]t this point I do not believe that the patient is able to perform her duties at work to a proper level." ( Id. ) He explained to Jacquet that her symptoms would stabilize once she was able to control her blood sugar; he also noted that patients often grow accustomed to Neurontin, at which point the blurry vision and lightheadedness pass. ( Id. )

On October 19, 2004, Jacquet returned to Dr. Chicko, stating that the pain in her feet was increasing. (Tr. at 194) She reported taking between seven and nine Neurontin a day, which she did not believe was helping the pain, although she thought that the Percocet was helping. ( Id. ) Dr. Chicko wrote prescriptions for Oxycontin 10 mg and Percocet. ( Id. )

On November 23, 2004, Jacquet again visited Dr. Chicko, complaining of pain and reporting that eight Neurontin a day, Oxycontin and Percocet did help the pain, but caused lightheadedness. ( Id. at 193) Dr. Chicko instructed, inter alia, that Jacquet continue with the medication and follow up with her neurologist. ( Id. )

On November 30, 2004, Jacquet visited Dr. Islam. (Tr. at 308) Dr. Islam described Jacquet's gait as "abnormal, as it is antalgic and step-to." (Tr. at 309) Her impressions were that Jacquet's foot pain was due to peripheral neuropathy, likely from Jacquet's diabetes, and that low back pain Jacquet was experiencing was likely musculoskeletal. ( Id. ) Dr. Islam took a number of steps, including giving Jacquet a prescription for amitriptyline, referring her to physical therapy for gait training and other foot therapy, and referring her to "vocational rehabilitation... [and] for a job training and placement into a sedentary duty job so she can stay off her feet." (Tr. at 309-10)

On December 22, 2004, a medical consultant for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Charles Allen, M.D., filed a recommendation form addressing Jacquet's prognosis and ability to work based on symptoms from peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes. (Tr. at 412) Dr. Allen wrote that Jacquet was in a "[b]ad situation" and that she needed to lose weight but could not walk or exercise due to her neuropathy. ( Id. ) He further noted that Jacquet should apply for SSDI, as it would be "[h]ard to place" her in a job if she is "on narcotics regularly" and that her neuropathy would likely progress. ( Id. ) Dr. Allen noted: "[n]eeds sedentary job-off of narcotics!" ( Id. )

On December 29, 2004, Jacquet returned to Dr. Islam. (Tr. at 306) Jacquet reported that she was unchanged and that her feet go from being numb to being in pain on a daily basis. ( Id. ) Jacquet's gait was noted to be "antalgic and slow, but [with] no focal weakness." ( Id. ) Dr. Islam noted that disability forms were filled out for Jacquet, that her low back pain was currently resolved, and that she had also added a prescription for Paxil 20 mg, which she noted would be "not just for depression, but for foot pain." (Tr. at 306-07)

Jacquet also returned to Dr. Mann's office on December 29, 2004. (Tr. at 281-284) Notes from this visit remained largely similar to notes from prior visits. However, Dr. Mann now noted that Jacquet had neuropathy in her feet, that she was seeing a pain specialist and podiatrist, and that she had joined vocational rehabilitation. ( Id. )

b. Physical Medical History in 2005

On January 27, 2005, Jacquet returned to Dr. Islam's office, claiming that she was essentially unchanged and that she had a burning type of pain in her feet at night, though in the day it was "not so bad." (Tr. at 304) Jacquet reported, inter alia, that the pain medications were helpful but that they wear off, and that she had just begun physical therapy. ( Id. ) Dr. Islam noted that Jacquet's gait was stable with her arches markedly flattened with weight bearing. ( Id. ) Dr. Islam switched Jacquet off of some of her pain pills to the Duragesic Patch 25 meg, which would provide a constant level of pain relief. (Tr. at 305)

On February 9, 2005, Sonia Songui, Jacquet's vocational counselor, completed paperwork indicating that Jacquet had significant impediments to employment, and that it was unclear whether she would be able to obtain employment after vocational rehabilitation. (Tr. at 132) Ms. Songui reported that Jacquet could not sit or stand for more than three hours, that she was below the fifth grade level in reading, spelling or math, and placed herself at risk due to poor decision making. (Tr. at 133)

Jacquet again visited Dr. Islam on February 24, 2005, stating that she felt somewhat better but still had pain almost every day in both her feet, some back pain, and reported a "new complaint" of swelling and pain in her knees. (Tr. at 302) Dr. Islam's impressions included foot pain from peripheral neuropathy, likely from diabetes, as well as bilateral knee pain and low back pain, both likely due to osteoarthritis. ( Id. ) On March 3, 2005, Jacquet visited both Dr. Islam and Dr. Mann, reporting foot pain, knee pain and that her legs were swollen. (Tr. at 278-79, 300)

On March 24, 2005, Jacquet visited Dr. Islam, reporting that she was "feeling better." (Tr. at 298) Jacquet's gait was normal, and she reported that her right knee only hurt when bent, her lower extremity edema had resolved, her foot pain was very manageable with her current dosage of medication, and that her back pain had gotten better. ( Id. ) Dr. Islam reviewed x-rays taken of Jacquet's lower back and knees, reporting that the x-ray of the lower back showed early degenerative disc disease, facet arthopathy with spondylolisthesis at L4-L5 and 6 mm of reverse spondylolisthesis at L5-Sl. ( Id. ) Dr. Islam also reported that the x-rays of the knees showed osteoporosis and degenerative change in both knees and joint effusion in the right knee. ( Id. )

On March 31, 2005, Jacquet returned to see Dr. Mann, who noted Jacquet's knee pain, although he wrote that there was no swelling, tenderness, or effusion in her joints. (Tr. at 273-74) He also noted that the swelling in her legs had resolved. (Tr. at 274)

On April6, 2005, Jacquet visited the office of Richard DuShuttle, M.D., P.A. for an initial evaluation. (Tr. at 251) Jacquet reported pain in both of her knees, particularly the right, and claimed to have difficulty getting up from a seated position. ( Id. ) Dr. DuShuttle noted that x-rays taken of her right knee on April 1, 2005 showed degenerative changes but no other abnormalities. ( Id. ) Dr. DuShuttle aspirated Jacquet's knee, which yielded 70 cc's of fluid and provided Jacquet relief. (Tr. at 252) He diagnosed the problem as "right knee strain/chondromalacia[, ]" and prescribed Voltaren 75 mg. ( Id. ) Handwritten notes indicate that Jacquet later called the office on April 11 and April 20, 2005, requesting pain medication, which was prescribed. ( Id. )

On April 19, 2005, Jacquet returned to Dr. Islam's office, reporting acute worsening of the pain in her feet. (Tr. at 296) Dr. Islam noted that Jacquet was anxious, that her gait was abnormal and very antalgic with both feet, and that she transferred from sitting to standing by pushing up on her chair. ( Id. ) She further noted that Jacquet's feet showed cyanosis, edema, and erythema and that the right knee was somewhat swollen. ( Id. ) On the next day, April 20, 2005, Jacquet reported to Dr. Mann that the pain in her right knee was worse and tender after seeing Dr. Dushuttle. (Tr. at 269-70) However, Dr. Mann further noted that Jacquet otherwise reported that she was feeling better, and that her leg swelling was down. ( Id. ) And on April27, 2005, Jacquet returned to Dr. DuShuttle's office for re-evaluation and stated that her right knee was doing "much better." (Tr. at 250) Dr. DuShuttle noted that there was full flexion and extension with minimal stiffness and no effusion, instability, medial or lateral jointline tenderness, or neuro or sensory deficits. ( Id. ) He explained to Jacquet that she should "avoid repetitive kneeling, squatting and stairs." ( Id. )

In May 2005, Jacquet was examined by two state agency physicians. (Tr. at 223-31) On May 17, 2005, Michael Borek, D.O., conducted a residual functional capacity ("RFC") assessment for Jacquet. (Tr. at 223-29, 568) Dr. Borek found that Jacquet's maximum RFC was for sedentary work, and afforded controlling weight to Dr. Islam's November 30, 2004 opinion that Jacquet could perform that type of work. (Tr. at 230, 308-10; D.I. 19 at 9) Anne Aldridge, M.D. agreed with these findings on September 23, 2005. (Tr. at 230, 568)

On June 2, 2005, Jacquet again visited Dr. DuShuttle's office, reporting right knee pain and swelling and also indicating that the pain medications did not help. (Tr. at 249) A physician's assistant noted swelling to the knee, and reviewed the MRI of Jacquet's knee that was taken in April 2005, which showed a medial meniscal tear and severe osteoarthritis in the right knee. ( Id.; D.I. 19 at 9) He explained that Jacquet would need an arthroscopy on the right knee, aspirated 40 cc's of clear fluid from that knee (after which Jacquet felt relief) and prescribed Darvocet-N 100 No. 40. (Tr. at 249) On June 20, 2005 and August 3, 2005, Dr. Mann noted Jacquet's recent medical visits, her continued reports of foot numbness and pain, tenderness in her right knee, that she had occasional leg swelling, and that her gait was normal. (Tr. at 259-64)

On August 4, 2005, Jacquet visited Dr. Islam's office, reporting that she was unchanged and "happy" with the level of pain relief. (Tr. at 294) Jacquet further informed Dr. Islam that she had canceled her arthroscopic knee surgery with Dr. DuShuttle because he had told her that she would need a knee replacement and she did not want to have two surgeries. ( Id. ) Jacquet rated her pain as a 3-4 on a scale of 10 on medication and rated her pain without medication as a 10. ( Id. Dr. Islam noted that Jacquet's gait was antalgic without focal weakness. (Tr. at 295)

Jacquet returned to Dr. Islam on August 31, 2005, stating that she was unchanged but satisfied with the level of pain relief and therefore content. (Tr. at 292) Dr. Islam noted that her gait was "improved from her last visit but [was] still slightly antalgic and stiff' and that she could transfer sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit smoothly and easily. ( Id.

On a September 29, 2005 visit, Dr. Islam noted that Jacquet was unchanged with daily pain in her feet and back, and that her gait was slow and antalgic with no focal weaknesses. (Tr. at 391) Just as she had in November 2004, Dr. Islam wrote that Jacquet "will need to obtain a sedentary duty job[.]" ( Id. ) She wrote that she had called the Division for Vocational Rehabilitation, that she had set Jacquet up for training classes at the Delaware Department of Labor and that she inquired about classes for Jacquet in January 2006 "for retail management[.]" (Tr. at 391-92) Dr. Islam further noted that Jacquet would no longer be able to afford the Duragesic Patch, and that she would be switched to methadone. ( Id. )

On October 26, 2005, Jacquet visited Dr. Islam, stating that her pain was worse off the patches and that the pain was in her back, but mainly in her legs, and feet. (Tr. at 389) Dr. Islam noted that Jacquet's gait was slow and somewhat antalgic, although there was no focal weakness, that she could transfer independently, and that there was trace edema of the feet. (Tr. at 390) She reported that Jacquet had not shown up for a prior vocational rehabilitation appointment. (Tr. at 389)

On December 1, 2005, Jacquet visited Dr. Islam, stating that her feet were bothering her "a lot" and that she was out of methadone and other pain medication. (Tr. at 387) Dr. Islam noted that Jacquet's gait was somewhat antalgic and, inter alia, left a message for a vocational rehabilitation specialist. (Tr. at 387-88) Dr. Islam also filled out a Specialist Examination and Report form, in which she concluded that Jacquet could not "stand or walk for prolonged periods of time[.]" (Tr. at 409) Dr. Islam further noted the following functional or environmental restrictions: that Jacquet was limited to sitting for up to eight hours a day, standing for up to two hours per day, walking up to two blocks, climbing no more than two flights of stairs and had no reaching, stooping or temperature/humidity-related restrictions. (Tr. at 410)

On December 28, 2005, Jacquet reported to Dr. Islam that she was feeling worse, with a burning type pain in her feet and numbness on the bottom of her feet. (Tr. at 385) Dr. Islam noted that Jacquet's gait was somewhat antalgic without focal weakness and that her leg showed trace edema in bilateral lower extremities without warmth or erythema. (Tr. at 386) Dr. Islam adjusted Jacquet's medication and instructed her to attend physical therapy for gait speed, hip and knee strengthening, and foot and toe stretching and strengthening. ( Id. )

c. Physical Medical History in 2006 and 2007

On January 26, 2006, Jacquet reported to Dr. Islam that she was unchanged and had pain every day in her back and feet. (Tr. at 383) Dr. Islam noted that Jacquet's mood was tearful and anxious at times, and that her gait was somewhat antalgic with no focal weakness. (Tr. at 384) Jacquet was instructed to keep the current dose of the Duragesic Patch and to try Cymbalta for the neuropathic pain as well as for mood. ( Id. ) Dr. Islam noted that she looked into enrolling Jacquet in a computer training program, and instructed Jacquet to continue the physical therapy, which Jacquet had reported was helpful and enjoyable. (Tr. at 383-84)

On February 21, 2006, Jacquet reported to Dr. Islam that she was "feeling better" and was "happy" with the physical therapy and the Cymbalta. (Tr. at 381) Dr. Islam noted that Jacquet's gait was normal, her affect was pleasant, and that she should continue with the current medications. (Tr. at 382)

On March 14, 2006, Dr. Allen again filled out a form for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Again he wrote that Jacquet needed a "sedentary job" that was "off narcotics[, ]" that she needed to lose weight, and that her neuropathy would progress as long as her diabetes was poorly controlled. (Tr. at 411 (emphasis removed))

On March 21, 2006, Jacquet visited Dr. Islam, stating that she was unchanged, and that her daily foot and back pain was "very bearable" with medication. (Tr. at 378) Dr. Islam further noted that Jacquet's affect was pleasant, that her gait was somewhat stiff with no focal weakness and that she could transfer with some stiffness but without assistance. (Tr. at 379)

On March 27, 2006, Jacquet visited Joel Rutenberg, M.D., another doctor at Dr. Islam's practice, for the first time. (Tr. at 374) At this appointment, Jacquet summarized the pain she felt over the last few years. (Tr. at 375-76) Dr. Rutenberg's assessment noted that Jacquet had numbness in her feet, that her history suggested she could have restless leg syndrome, and that she had plantar pain with weight bearing that could be caused by either plantar fasciitis or a rare side effect of statins. (Tr. at 376-77) Dr. Rutenberg also noted that Jacquet had a history of memory problems and blurred vision that could be attributed to her medication. (Tr. at 377)

On April 19, 2006, Jacquet visited Dr. Islam for the last time, as Dr. Islam was leaving the practice. (Tr. at 370-71) Jacquet reported to Dr. Islam that she was unchanged and had pain mostly in her feet. (Tr. at 370) Dr. Islam noted that Jacquet's gait was somewhat slow with no focal weakness, that she could transfer sit to stand without difficulty, and that her heel and toe walk were normal. (Tr. at 371) Dr. Islam instructed, inter alia, that Jacquet should continue the Duragesic Patch and Percocet for the severe pain. ( Id. )

On May 10, 2006, Jacquet returned to Dr. Rutenberg, complaining of numbness in her feet and her lower legs. (Tr. at 368) Dr. Rutenberg noted that Jacquet probably had peripheral polyneuropathy, may have minimal restless leg syndrome and had also had more lumbar pain recently, which had been radicular, particularly in the right leg. ( Id. ) On May 17, 2006, John Coli, DO interpreted the results of an MRI of the lumbar spine, reporting that, at L4-5, there was diffuse disk protrusion and moderate facet hypertrophy, as well as mild, bilateral nerve root canal stenosis and mild lumbar stenosis. (Tr. at 366) At L5-S1, Dr. Coli noted that there was diffuse disk protrusion and mild-moderate facet hypertrophy, as well as mild left nerve root canal stenosis. (Tr. at 366-67) At T11-12, Dr. Coli noted mild degenerative disk changes and posterior disk bulge. (Tr. at 367)

On August 2, 2006, Jacquet returned to Dr. Rutenberg's office, reporting continued numbness in her hands and feet, which was worse at night. (Tr. at 360) Jacquet expressed that she felt she needed to move her legs to get comfortable, and that she had experienced increased lumbar pain, which occasionally radiated to the right leg. ( Id. ) Dr. Rutenberg reported that in the office, Jacquet seemed to move her legs spontaneously, although she said the pain was worse at night. (Tr. at 361)

On October 2, 2006, Dr. Mann completed a Physician's Statement in which he concluded that Jacquet was "unable to sustain any kind of work on a regular, everyday 40/hr per week basis." (Tr. at 317) In April 2007, Dr. Mann wrote a further short letter in which he opined that Jacquet was "unable to work full time due to the effects of[] chronic pain medication" that caused sedation. (Tr. at 438)

On June 1, 2007, Dr. Mark, a state agency neurologist, examined Jacquet and completed a Disability Determinations Evaluation. (Tr. at 439-40) Dr. Mark's impression was that Jacquet had "severe diabetic polyneuropathy with pain even on light touch" and "low back pain without evidence ofradiculopathy." ( Id. at 440) Based on the examination, Dr. Mark also completed a "Medical Source Statement of Ability To Do Work-Related Activities (Physical)" wherein he indicated that Jacquet: (1) could occasionally lift and occasionally carry up to ten pounds but could never lift and never carry in excess of ten pounds; (2) could sit for up to four hours at a time and both stand and walk for up to one hour at a time without interruption; and (3) could sit for up to eight hours total in an eight-hour work day, and both stand and walk for up to two hours total in an eight-hour work day. (Tr. at 441-42) With respect to the use of her right and left hands, Dr. Mark indicated that Jacquet could frequently perform handling activities and all reaching except overhead reaching, could occasionally perform fingering, push/pull, and overhead reaching activities, and could never perform feeling activities. (Tr. at 443) Dr. Mark noted that Jacquet did not require the use of a cane to ambulate, but could never operate foot controls. (Tr. at 442-43) He opined that Jacquet could occasionally climb stairs and ramps but could never climb ladders or scaffolds, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl, and that Jacquet could occasionally tolerate exposure to moving mechanical parts, operating a motor vehicle, and humidity and wetness, but could never tolerate exposure to unprotected heights, dust, odors, fumes, and pulmonary irritants, extreme cold, extreme heat, and vibrations. (Tr. at 444-45)

d. Mental Medical History

On January 31, 2005, Frederick W. Kurz, Ph.D. conducted a psychological evaluation of Jacquet for the purpose of assisting in vocational planning. (Tr. at 203) For Jacquet's mental status examination, Dr. Kurz noted that Jacquet's language skills, mood, and affect were appropriate for the situation and noted no evidence of depression or anxiety. (Tr. at 204) Dr. Kurz further found that Jacquet had "adequate" attention, pace, registration and memory skills. ( Id. ) He reported that Jacquet's testing scores placed her within low average to borderline levels of intelligence. ( Id. ) Dr. Kurz explained that the differences among Jacquet's test scores indicated that Jacquet generally processes, stores, and retrieves verbal information significantly better than she does non-verbal information. ( Id. ) On another test, Jacquet's ...

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