United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
H. RICE DISTRICT JUDGE.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
L. Ovington United States Magistrate Judge.
Jasmine Cranford brings this case challenging the Social
Security Administration's denial of her application for
Supplemental Security Income. She applied for benefits on
June 28, 2012, asserting that she could not work a
substantial paid job. Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
Elizabeth A. Motta 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. #7), the Commissioner's Memorandum in
Opposition (Doc. #9), Plaintiff's Reply (Doc. #10), the
administrative record (Doc. #6), 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 Motta's non-disability decision.
asserts that she has been under a “disability”
since July 1, 1998. She was eight years old at that time and
was therefore considered a “younger person” under
Social Security Regulations. 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c). She
has a limited education. 20 C.F.R. § 416.964(b)(3).
testified at the hearing before ALJ Motta that she has three
children who are seven years old, two years old, and one year
old. (Doc. #6, PageID #71). Her mother has custody
of the oldest child, and her two younger children are in
foster case. Id. She stated that she does not see
any of her children. Id. at 75.
has problems with depression and anxiety. Id. at 83.
She cannot sit in one spot and pay attention to only one
thing for thirty minutes. Id. at 83-84. Plaintiff
last received treatment from Nova House in 2011. Id.
at 78. She used to have problems with cocaine, crack cocaine,
and marijuana but has been clean for two years. Id.
is supposed to take medication for ADHD and anxiety but does
not because it makes her drowsy. Id. at 77. When the
ALJ stated that she appeared drowsy at the hearing, she said
that the medications make her uptight. Id. She
further explained that she was drowsy at the hearing because
she was up late the night before. Id.
dropped out of high school in the ninth grade and has not
obtained a GED. Id. at 72-73. In school, she was in
special education classes. Id. at 82. Her grades
were “up and down.” Id. She did not get
along with other kids at school. Id. She
fought-sometimes physically-with other kids and argued with
teachers as well. Id.
lives in an apartment by herself. Id. at 70. She
often stays with friends for days at a time because she does
not like to be by herself. Id. at 73. She spends a
lot of her time with her boyfriend as well. Id. at
74. When she is with her friends, they watch movies.
Id. at 75. She does not have a normal schedule.
Id. at 84. She does not wake up or go to bed at the
same time every day, and she sometimes sleeps during the day.
father reminds her to pay her bills on time and helps her
shop for groceries. Id. at 80. He also reminds her
of her appointments and sometimes takes her to them.
Id. at 84. Plaintiff is able to understand mail if
it is really simple but otherwise has to have someone,
usually her father, read it for her. Id. at 83. She
is able to make sandwiches, use the microwave, and wash
dishes. Id. at 74. When she tries to cook on the
stove, she gets easily sidetracked and forgets the food on
the stove. Id. at 81. Her friend does her laundry
for her. Id. at 74. Her neighbor helps her clean her
apartment. Id. at 81. She only uses computers for
playing games, but she knows how to send an email.
Id. at 75-76. However, her spelling is not very
good, and she does not send emails. Id. at 81. She
has never had a driver's license but can use public
transportation. Id. at 72, 75.
Plaintiff's Father's Testimony
father, Jeffrey Van Cranford, Sr., also testified at the
hearing before ALJ Motta. Id. at 85. He testified
that he sees his daughter almost every day and assists her
with “pretty much everything, organizing her day with
the kids, or things that she needs, her appointments, her
doctor's appointments, her mental health appointments,
and things like that.” Id. at 86. He explained
that Plaintiff sees her son on Mondays and her daughter on
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Id. at 92-93. He
has visitation and is allowed to take them to his house, and
then she visits. Id. at 93. Plaintiff is not allowed
to take the children by herself. Id. He helps her
interact and play with her children. Id. at 95. Mr.
Cranford also takes Plaintiff to the grocery store to help
her choose healthy food and figure out her money.
Id. at 86-87. If he did not help her at the grocery,
he thought she would likely get things she wanted versus
things she needed. Id. at 90. Although Plaintiff is
“pretty good at keeping her house clean …,
” he sometimes helps her with washing dishes, putting
clothes away, and organizing her stuff. Id. at 88.
Cranford testified that Plaintiff started having trouble in
school when she was five years old. Id. She had
difficulty staying focused and did not listen to authority.
Id. at 88-89. As a result, she spent half the day at
kindergarten and half at Good Samaritan Behavioral Health.
Id. at 89. Plaintiff struggled with grades
throughout school but she “was pretty smart in some
areas, … like her long-term memory was good. She can
remember things. But her short-term memory, she may not
remember.” Id. at 89-90. She had some problems
getting along with her peers and teachers. Id. at
Cranford explained that Plaintiff was in treatment at
and last attended treatment in March. Id. at 90-91.
He does not think that she completed her treatment.
Id. at 91. Plaintiff took Ritalin for attention
deficit disorder but she stopped taking it because she did
not think it was working. Id. at 92. She then began
taking Strattera, and Mr. Cranford thought it worked but he
had to watch her put the pill in her mouth and swallow it.
Id. He thought she might have had medication for
depression or anxiety but he was not sure of whether she took
it. Id. 92. Plaintiff sleeps a lot, and Mr. Cranford
believes it is due to her lifestyle and “maybe some
depression.” Id. at 95.
Mary Ann Jones, Ph.D.
Jones first evaluated Plaintiff in November 2012.
Id. at 473. Dr. Jones noted that Plaintiff's
grooming was good, her facial expressions were dull to
anxious, and she was cooperative. Id. at 475. Her
conversation was relevant but only semi-coherent.
Id. She had “very minimal voice inflection.
She proved marginal historian. Stream of thought proved
retarded. Thought association proved fragmented and
concrete.” Id. at 476. Dr. Jones indicated
that Plaintiff's demeanor was resigned to apathetic and
her affect was sad to blunted. Id. Her degree of
consciousness varied between distracted to vague, and she was
minimally oriented to person, place, time, and circumstance.
Jones diagnosed major depression, attention-deficit
hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder, not otherwise
specified (NOS), cannabis and cocaine abuse in nine- month
remission. Id. at 478. She assigned a global
assessment of functioning (GAF) score of fifty-two,
indicating moderate symptoms. Id. Dr. Jones assessed
Plaintiff as functioning in the mild range of mental
retardation and indicated that as a result, “she can be
expected to have considerable difficulty in understanding,
remembering, and carrying out instructions in a work
setting.” Id. at 479. Additionally, Dr. Jones
noted that she is not able to stay focused and would have
difficulty maintaining appropriate attention and
concentration and sustaining adequate persistence and pace in
order to perform various work tasks. Id. Plaintiff
would also likely have limitations in responding
appropriately to supervision and to coworkers in a work
setting and in coping appropriately to common workplace
January 2013, Dr. Jones administered the Wechsler Adult
Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV). Id.
at 431. Plaintiff's full-scale intelligence quotient was
66, which falls in the mild range of mental retardation.
Id. She achieved a verbal comprehension index of 70
(borderline range); perceptual reasoning index of 67 (mild
range); working memory index of 69 (mild range); and
processing speed index of 81 (low average range).
Id. Dr. Jones noted, “These test results in no
way significantly alter the conclusions of her previous
[November 2012] exam ….” Id. at 432.
Bonnie Katz, Ph.D., & Paul ...