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Ostigny v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

August 29, 2013

DAVID OSTIGNY, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

J. GREGORY WEHRMAN, Magistrate Judge.

This is a Social Security appeal filed by plaintiff, through counsel, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 405(g) and 1383(c)(3). The main issue presented is plaintiff's contention that the administrative law judge's (ALJ) decision is not supported by substantial evidence, particularly in light of the ALJ's failure to consider a narrative report from plaintiff's treating psychiatrist. Defendant asserts that the decision was supported by substantial evidence and the ALJ acted properly by not considering the narrative report because it was not timely filed.

I. Factual and Procedural History

Plaintiff David Ostigny was born in 1958 and had a high school education with past relevant work as a tennis instructor when he applied for Social Security Disability benefits in 2009. Tr. 115. Plaintiff alleged a disability due to psychological impairments with an onset date of August 31, 1995. Id. After his claims were denied initially and upon reconsideration, plaintiff requested a hearing before an ALJ. On January 13, 2011, an evidentiary hearing was held by ALJ Christopher McNeil, at which plaintiff, represented by counsel, Shoshana Pehowic, and a vocational expert, Mesha Dowd, testified. Id. at 18-58.

On February 2, 2011, the ALJ issued a decision denying plaintiff's claims. Id. at 9-14. When the Appeals Council summarily denied plaintiff's request for review on May 1, 2012, the ALJ's decision became defendant's final determination. Id. at 1-3.

The ALJ's "Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, " which represent the rationale of the decision, were as follows:

1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act on March 31, 2002 [DLI].
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period from his alleged onset date of August 31, 1995, through his date last insured of March 31, 2002 (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq. ).
.
3. Through the date last insured, there were no medical signs or laboratory findings to substantiate the existence of a medically determinable impairment (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
.
4. The claimant was not under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, at any time from August 31, 1995, the alleged onset date, through March 31, 2002, the date last insured (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
Id. at 11-14.

II. ...


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