United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
H. Rice, District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS
L. Ovington United States Magistrate Judge
April Ferryman brings this case challenging the Social
Security Administration's denial of her applications for
period of disability, Disability Insurance Benefits, and
Supplemental Security Income. She applied for benefits on
November 28, 2012, asserting that she could no longer work a
substantial paid job. Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
Christopher L. Dillon concluded that she was not eligible for
benefits because she is not under a “disability”
as defined in the Social Security Act.
case is before the Court upon Plaintiff's Statement of
Errors (Doc. #6), the Commissioner's Memorandum in
Opposition (Doc. #9), Plaintiff's Reply (Doc. #11), the
administrative record (Doc. #5), and the record as a whole.
seeks a remand of this case for payment of benefits or, at a
minimum, for further proceedings. The Commissioner asks the
Court to affirm ALJ Dillon's non-disability decision.
asserts that she has been under a “disability”
since November 1, 2012. (Doc. #5, PageID #275). She
was twenty-seven years old at that time and was therefore
considered a “younger person” under Social
Security Regulations. See 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1563(c), 416.963(c). She has a high school education.
See Id. §§ 404.1564(b)(4), 416.964(b)(4).
testified at the hearing before ALJ Dillon that when she is
depressed, she has days that she does not want to get up,
leave her house, or do anything. (Doc. #5, PageID
#80). If she is working and gets depressed, she calls in
sick. Id. She also “go[es] through very
different moods at a time.” Id. at 81. She
explained that one word might change her mood from happy to
angry within seconds. Id. Additionally, when
something reminds her of her past, she either gets angry or
starts crying. Id. When those episodes happen at
work, she makes an excuse to leave early. Id. When
she is uncomfortable around a person, “it freaks her
out” and she has to go home or to a different area of
her house. Id. at 83. Plaintiff was diagnosed with
bipolar disorder. Id. at 87. Her symptoms include
racing thoughts and impulsive behavior. Id.
Plaintiff's mental health problems-specifically, her
PTSD-worsened after the birth of her child. Id. at
83. Her PTSD, concern, and worry are related to being raped
as a child. Id. at 84. For many years, she
self-medicated with marijuana and cocaine but then she was
arrested and stopped using drugs. Id. At the time of
the hearing, she had been clean for just short of three years
and three months. Id. at 84-85.
that she is not using drugs, she has to deal with the kind of
thoughts that bother her. Id. at 85. Her medication
helps but “they're still there and [she] can't
just do something to make [herself] forget.”
childhood trauma, Plaintiff is uncomfortable leaving her
child with men and only she or her mother care for her child.
Id. at 83.
Q Am I to understand  that [your fiancée] is the
father of your child; is that right?
A Yes, sir.
Q And yet you have issues in even allowing him to take care
of his child?
A To me, family is just as evil as a stranger.
Q That's how this all started for you, wasn't it?
Id. at 85.
has several crying spells throughout the day. Id.
She also isolates herself at least twice per day.
Id. at 86. Before her daughter was born, she locked
herself into her room for twelve hours at a time with her bed
in front of the door so no one could get in. Id.
Since her child was born, she isolates herself for two to
three hours at one time. Id. During that time, her
daughter is either with her or with her mom. Id.
testified that she has asthma and two bulging discs in her
lower back. Id. at 82. She also has problems with
her left knee. Id. Her lower back pain began when
she twenty years old, and she had an MRI in 2012.
Id. at 88. She began having hip pain with tingling
down her legs after her daughter was born in September 2013.
Id. At the time of the hearing, she was in physical
therapy. Id. at 83.
is able to do dishes, but she sometimes has to leave them and
come back later to finish them. Id. at 82. She does
laundry occasionally. Id. However, if her anxiety
escalates, she will leave clothes in the washer for several
days and then will have to rewash them. Id. at
82-83. Plaintiff estimated that she can stand for
approximately fifteen minutes at a time, walk one and
one-half to two blocks at a time, sit for at least an hour,
and has to watch lifting things over twenty-five pounds.
Id. at 89. Further, her mood would prevent her from
making it to work half the time. Id. at 90.
worked part time as a cashier in January 2013. Id.
at 81. She only worked four to four and one-half hours in a
day. Id. When she had to run the cash register and
make pizzas at the same time, she got overwhelmed and left
things like the oven on. Id. She was let go when she
began having pregnancy complications. Id. at 82.
Linda J. Griffith, M.D., Tracy Detwiler, PA-C, & Callie
2014, Dr. Griffith, Ms. Detwiler, and Ms. Hawkins completed a
mental impairment questionnaire. Id. at 581-84. They
diagnosed Plaintiff with bipolar disorder, most recent
episode unspecified; post-traumatic stress disorder; and
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, combination type.
Id. at 581. They assigned a global assessment of
functioning (GAF) score of fifty-six. Id. Their
clinical findings included depressed mood, flat affect,
tearful, nightmares and flashbacks of past trauma, irritable,
racing thoughts, and easily distracted. Id. at 582.
Plaintiff's signs and symptoms included: appetite
disturbance with weight change, mood disturbance, delusions
or hallucinations, ...