United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
GINA M. MILES, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. Litkovitz United States Magistrate Judge
Gina Miles, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3) for judicial review of the
final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security
("Commissioner") denying plaintiffs application for
child's insurance benefits ("CIB") and
supplemental security income ("SSI"). This matter
is before the Court on plaintiffs statement of errors (Doc.
11) and the Commissioner's response in opposition (Doc.
Procedural Background P
was born in 1991 and turned 18 in September 2009. In 2013,
she filed applications for CIB and SSI alleging a disability
onset date of January 1, 2000, i.e., before her 22nd
birthday. Plaintiff alleges disability due to depression,
bipolar disorder, back pain, and being on an individualized
education plan ("IEP"). (Tr. 211, 220). Plaintiffs
applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration.
Plaintiff, through counsel, requested and was granted a
de novo hearing before administrative law judge
("ALJ") Peter J. Boylan. Plaintiff, her mother, and
a vocational expert ("VE") appeared and testified
at the ALJ hearing. On March 26, 2015, the ALJ issued a
decision denying plaintiffs applications. Plaintiffs request
for review by the Appeals Council was denied, making the
decision of the ALJ the final administrative decision of the
Legal Framework for Disability Determinations
qualify for SSI. plaintiff must file an application and be an
"eligible individual" as defined in the Act. 42
U.S.C. § 1382(a); 20 C.F.R. § 416.202. Eligibility
is dependent upon disability, income, and other financial
resources. Id. An individual who has attained the
age of 18 is considered disabled for purposes of SSI if she
suffers from a medically determinable physical or mental
impairment that can be expected to result in death or that
has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period
of not less than 12 months. 42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)(A).
The impairment must render the individual unable to engage in
the work previously performed or in any other substantial
gainful employment that exists in the national economy. 42
U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)(B). An individual over the age of
18 who is disabled is entitled to CIB if her disability began
before she attained the age of 22 and she meets certain
eligibility requirements. 20 C.F.R. § 404.350.
promulgated by the Commissioner establish a five-step
sequential evaluation process for disability determinations:
1) If the claimant is doing substantial gainful activity, the
claimant is not disabled.
2) If the claimant does not have a severe medically
determinable physical or mental impairment - i.e.,
an impairment that significantly limits his or her physical
or mental ability to do basic work activities - the claimant
is not disabled.
3) If the claimant has a severe impairment(s) that meets or
equals one of the listings in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of the
regulations and meets the duration requirement, the claimant
4) If the claimant's impairment does not prevent him or
her from doing his or her past relevant work, the claimant is
5) If the claimant can make an adjustment to other work, the
claimant is not disabled. If the claimant cannot make an
adjustment to other work, the claimant is disabled.
Robbers v. Comm 'r of Soc. Sec, 582 F.3d 647,
652 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing 20 C.F.R. §§
416.920(a)(4)(i)-(v), 416.920(b)-(g)). The claimant has the
burden of proof at the first four steps of the sequential
evaluation process. Id.; Wilson v. Comm 'r of Soc.
Sec, 378 F.3d 541, 548 (6th Cir. 2004). Once the
claimant establishes a prima facie case by showing an
inability to perform the relevant previous employment, the
burden shifts to the Commissioner to show that the claimant
can perform other substantial gainful employment and that
such employment exists in the national economy.
Robbers, 582 F.3d at 652; Harmon v. Apfel,
168 F.3d 289, 291 (6th Cir. 1999).
The Administrative Law Judge's Findings
applied the sequential evaluation process and made the
following findings of fact and conclusions of law:
1. Born [in] 1999, the [plaintiff] had not attained age 22 as
of January 1, 2000, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.102,
416.120(c)(4) and 404.350(a)(5)).
2. The [plaintiff] has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since January 1, 2000, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The [plaintiff] has the following severe impairments:
borderline intellectual functioning and an affective disorder
(20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
4. The [plaintiff] does not have an impairment or combination
of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526,
416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the [plaintiff] has the residual
functional capacity [("RFC")] to perform a full
range of work at all exertional levels but with the following
non-exertional limitations. The [plaintiff] is limited to
simple, routine, and repetitive tasks. The [plaintiff] is
unable to perform at a production-rate pace, such as
generally associated with jobs like assembly line worker, but
she is able to perform goal-oriented work, such as generally
associated with jobs like office cleaner. The [plaintiff] is
unable to have fast-paced work. The [plaintiff] is limited to
simple, work-related decisions. The [plaintiff] is limited to
occasional and superficial interaction with supervisors and
coworkers, and she cannot interact with the public as part of
her work duties. The [plaintiff] is limited to tolerating
occasional changes in a routine work setting.
6. The [plaintiff] has no past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565
7. The [plaintiff] was bom [in] 1991 and was 8 years old,
which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the
alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
8. The [plaintiff] has a limited education and is able to
communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964).
9. Transferability of job skills is not an issue because the
[plaintiff] does not have past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1568
10. Considering the [plaintiff]'s age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that the [plaintiff] can perform (20 CFR ...