United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
AND ENTRY: (1) REVERSING THE ALJ'S NON-DISABILITY FINDING
AS UNSUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE; (2) REMANDING THIS
CASE TO THE COMMISSIONER UNDER THE FOURTH SENTENCE OF 42
U.S.C. § 405(G) FOR PROCEEDINGS CONSISTENT WITH THIS
OPINION; AND (3) TERMINATING THIS CASE ON THE COURT'S
Michael J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge.
Social Security disability benefits appeal is before the
undersigned for disposition based upon the parties' full
consent. Doc. 7. At issue is whether the Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) erred in finding Plaintiff not
“disabled” and therefore unentitled to Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and/or Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”). This case is before the
Court on Plaintiff's Statement of Errors (doc. 8), the
Commissioner's memorandum in opposition (doc. 10),
Plaintiff's reply (doc. 11), the administrative record
(doc. 5, 6),  and the record as a whole.
filed for DIB and SSI alleging a disability onset date of
October 17, 2006. PageID 221-31. Plaintiff suffers from a
number of impairments including, among others, chronic back
pain, obesity, diabetes, and depression. PageID 1027.
initial denial of her claims, Plaintiff received a hearing
before ALJ Maria Hodges on October 12, 2011. PageID 66-107.
The ALJ issued a written decision on October 26, 2011 finding
Plaintiff not disabled. PageID 40-56. Plaintiff subsequently
appealed ALJ Hodges's decision and the undersigned
reversed her non-disability finding as unsupported by
substantial evidence, and remanded the case for further
proceedings. Hale v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., No.
3:13-CV-195, 2014 WL 7176476, at *1-7 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 26,
remand, Plaintiff received a hearing before ALJ Elizabeth
Motta on March 23, 2015. PageID 1059-92. ALJ Motta issued a
decision on July 31, 2015 finding Plaintiff not disabled.
PageID 1023-48. Specifically, the ALJ found:
1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2012.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since October 17, 2006, the alleged disability onset
date (20 CFR 404.1571, et seq., and 416.971, et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, obesity,
diabetes mellitus with nephropathy, depressive disorder,
personality disorder with dependent features, borderline
intellectual functioning versus learning disorder (20 CFR
404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in20 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. The claimant has the residual functional capacity
[“RFC”] to perform light work as defined at 20 CFR
404.1567(b) and 416.967(b), including lifting and carrying up
to 20 pounds occasionally and ten pounds frequently, subject
to some additional limitations. She can stand and walk a
combined total of four hours during an eight-hour workday.
Postural activities (i.e., climbing stairs and ramps,
balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling) can be
done no more than occasionally. The claimant cannot climb
ladders, ropes or scaffolds. She should not be exposed to
hazards (e.g., unprotected heights or moving machinery). The
claimant is limited to performing simple repetitive tasks;
low stress work (i.e., no fixed production quotas or fast
pace and only routine work with few changes in work setting).
She should have no more than occasional contact with the
public, co-workers and supervisors.
6. The claimant is unable to perform past relevant work (20
CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born on July 22, 1967. At age 47 she is
classified as a “younger individual” for Social
Security purposes (20 CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
8. The claimant has a high-school education (20 CFR 404.1564
9. The claimant does not have “transferable” work
skills within the meaning of the Social Security Act (20 CFR
404.1568 and 416.968).
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that the claimant can perform (20 CFR 404.1569, 404.1569(a),
416.969, and 416.969(a)).
11. The claimant was not “disabled, ” as defined
in the Social Security Act, from October 17, 2006, through
the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and
did not seek Appeals Council review of ALJ Motta's
decision. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.984(d) (in a case
remanded by a Federal Court, “[i]f no exceptions are
filed and the Appeals Council does not assume jurisdiction of
[the] case, the decision of the [ALJ] becomes the final
decision of the Commissioner after remand”). Plaintiff