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Tillackdharry v. Barnhart

April 10, 2006


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Harold Baer, Jr., District Judge


Deodharry Tillackdharry, pro se, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 405(g), to challenge the final determination by the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") that he was not "disabled" within the meaning of the Social Security Act from December 3, 2001, through March 31, 2002, and hence not eligible for disability insurance benefits ("DIB"). The Commissioner moves and Tillackdharry cross-moves for judgment on the pleadings. For the following reasons, the Commissioner's motion is granted and Tillackdharry's motion is denied.


A. Plaintiff's Background

Tillackdharry, who is of East Indian descent, was born in Guyana in 1951. Transcript of Administrative Record of Social Security Administration ("Tr.") at 301-02. He completed high school in Guyana and came to the United States in 1969 to pursue a college education. Tr. at 281, 302. After he obtained 49 credits in Animal and Agriculture Science at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, he had to drop out of college because of financial hardship. Tr. at 254, 281.

In or about 1973, Tillackdharry moved to New York and found work as an Assistant Warehouse Manager, a position he held for about twelve years. Tr. at 254. Subsequently, he worked as a cargo agent at JFK International Airport for a year, a processing clerk at a bank in New York for about four years, and a stock clerk in retail stores in New York for about a year. Id. For part of 1999 and 2000, he worked intermittently doing clean up-sweeping and removing trash-at construction sites in Florida. Tr. at 307-08. He last worked as a warehouse stock clerk for a supermarket chain in Florida for about seven months until October 2, 2001. Tr. at 254, 303.

Tillackdharry became a citizen of the United States in 1978. Tr. at 281. He was married for seventeen years but his wife divorced him in 1995. Id. He has a twenty-four year old daughter with whom he maintains little contact. Tr. at 102, 281. In 1999, Tillackdharry lost his apartment after he was arrested for grand larceny.*fn1 Tr. at 281. He then lived with his daughter and with a friend, and was also homeless for some time. Tr. at 313-14. He entered the Bellevue Continuing Treatment Program for the mentally disabled and homeless in 2003, and moved to a room provided by PCMH,*fn2 an outpatient housing program, in 2004. Tr. at 281; Pl.'s Mem. of Law in Supp. of J. on the Pleadings at 4. Presently, Tillackdharry lives in an apartment in the Bronx. 10/11/2005 Pl.'s Change of Address Mem.

B. Evidence from Medical Reports

1. Physical Health

Around the period relevant to Tillackdharry's DIB claim, the record contains reports of seven visits to Jacobi Medical Center ("Jacobi") from October 18, 2001, to April 17, 2002. On the first visit, Tillackdharry sought to refill his hypertension medications and complained of neck and shoulder pain. Tr. at 116. The nurse practitioner prescribed medication for hypertension, low back pain, and depression, and advised Tillackdharry to seek treatment for his depression at Bronx Lebanon Hospital. Tr. at 117-18.

Two weeks later, the examining physician noted that Tillackdharry's depression and hypertension had improved. Tr. at 123-24. An electrocardiogram revealed bradycardia- slowness of the heartbeat-and Tillackdharry was directed to return in six weeks. Tr. at 119, 123-24; Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary ("Dorland's") 237 (29th ed. 2000).

At the third visit, the attending physician observed that Tillackdharry's hypertension was "inadequately controlled" and prescribed medication. Tr. at 128. His blood pressure readings of 150/94 and 144/96 indicated mild hypertension.*fn3 Tr. at 127.

On January 25, 2005, Tillackdharry returned to Jacobi complaining of shortness of breath on exertion, sore throat, vomiting, and headache. Tr. at 132. The examining physician increased the dosage of Tillackdharry's hypertension medication and ordered a cardiac stress test, known as a thallium stress test, to rule out coronary heart disease. Tr. at 133.

On February 22, 2002, Tillackdharry's blood pressure measured 174/106 for the right arm, and 166/106 for the left arm. Tr. at 135. He told the examining physician that he had not taken HCTZ, a medication for hypertension, on a regular basis. Id. The physician instructed him to resume taking HCTZ, increased the dosage of another hypertension ...

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