United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
Barbara J. Dudley, Plaintiff,
Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
L. GRAHAM JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Terence P. Kemp United States Magistrate Judge.
Barbara J. Dudley, filed this action seeking review of a
decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying her
applications for disability insurance benefits and
supplemental security income. Those applications were filed
on November 17, 2014, and alleged that Plaintiff became
disabled on September 1, 2014.
initial administrative denials of her claim, Plaintiff was
given a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge on January
21, 2016. In a decision dated February 3, 2016, the ALJ
denied benefits. That became the Commissioner's final
decision on May 17, 2016, when the Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff filed this case, the Commissioner filed the
administrative record on September 19, 2016. Plaintiff filed
a statement of errors on January 13, 2017, to which the
Commissioner responded on April 28, 2017. Plaintiff did not
file a reply brief, and the case is now ready to decide.
Plaintiff's Testimony at the Administrative
who was 56 years old as of the date of the hearing and who
has a high school education as well as nurse's aide
training, testified as follows. Her testimony appears at
pages 56-68 of the administrative record.
first testified that she filed her disability application due
to pain in her lower back. She did take care of her
grandchildren for several months in 2014. She also said that
her husband was disabled and had had several back surgeries,
the most recent being in 2015.
last time Plaintiff worked was for Dollar General, a job she
held for more than seven years. She was fired because of a
shortage in her cash drawer, something she denied. She had
been a cashier and stock clerk. After being fired, she did
look for work, but discontinued doing so because of her back
pain. Before taking the job at Dollar General, she worked
part-time as a kitchen helper and housekeeper.
asked why she could no longer work, Plaintiff said that she
could not handle stress or being around people. She had
started mental health counseling about a month prior to the
hearing. Plaintiff said that she was able to do some cooking
and housework, although that was interrupted by pain. She
could sit for prolonged periods. She had been taking Celexa
and it had helped with her depression for some time, but not
more recently. She only left home to see the doctor or go
grocery shopping, and in the grocery store she waited until
an aisle was empty before she would enter it. She had no
hobbies and no social activities.
The Medical Records
pertinent medical records are found beginning at page 230 of
the administrative record. The records relating to a
potential mental impairment, which is the issue raised by
Plaintiff's statement of errors, can be summarized as
saw her general practitioner on April 16, 2014 for a
follow-up appointment. She had just become insured again and
wanted to restart Celexa, which in the past had helped her
with depression and anxiety. Her Celexa prescription was
refilled although no psychological symptoms were noted in the
record of that ...