United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
ANGIE L. LUCKETT, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, COMMISSIONER OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.
DECISION AND ENTRY
L. OVINGTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Angie L. Luckett brings this case challenging the Social
Security Administration's denial of her application for
period of disability and Disability Insurance Benefits. She
applied for benefits on October 7, 2013, asserting that she
could no longer work a substantial paid job. Administrative
Law Judge (ALJ) Eric Anschuetz concluded that she was not
eligible for benefits because she is not under a
“disability” as defined in the Social Security
case is before the Court upon Plaintiff's Statement of
Errors (Doc. #6), the Commissioner's Memorandum in
Opposition (Doc. #10), and the administrative record (Doc.
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 Anschuetz's non-disability decision.
asserts that she has been under a “disability”
since January 18, 2011. She was forty-six years old at that
time and was therefore considered a “younger
person” under Social Security Regulations. See
20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c). She has a high school
education. See Id. § 404.1564(b)(4).
testified at the hearing before ALJ Anschuetz that she cannot
work because of pain, cuts, and infections. (Doc. #4,
PageID #114). Plaintiff gets cuts all over her
hands. Id. at 116, 127. Sometimes it is because she
is using her hands too much or because her skin is really
thin and it tears; other times, she does not know the cause
or even that it is going to happen. Id. at 115-16.
She explained, “I think the worst thing is it's
unpredictable. You might plan something, and then it starts.
You're not going to be able to do whatever it is, because
it's … like, it takes over your whole life, you
know?” Id. at 129.
her last “flare up” two weeks before the hearing.
Id. at 126. By the time of the hearing, the
fissures/cuts had closed but she had spots on them and her
skin was very thin. Id. at 127. When the cuts begin
to heal, if she bends her hand, they crack back open.
Id. at 130-31. “So, it's best just to tape
it up and … you have to wait it out ….”
Id. at 131.
wears gloves all the time. Id. at 117. She wears
compression gloves and gloves made of all cotton.
Id. She has to wear gloves without fingertips
because otherwise the middle of her hand gets really dry and
infected. Id. at 134. She believes her hands need to
be able to breathe. Id.
takes several medications including Tramadol, Advil,
Clobetasol, and Claritin. Id. at 119. She also takes
Prednisone and Methylprednisolone but can only do so for
short periods of time. Id. at 119-20. Plaintiff has
a prescription for cortisone cream but also uses an
over-the-counter cream. Id. at 120, 131. She has
used hydrocortisone cream, Fluconazole, Triamcinolone, and
Protopic. Id. at 132. She uses different ones
depending on her symptoms. Id. She explained,
“it's a chain of reactions. One day you can do
this. The next day you -- that does not work for you. So, my
counter is full of all different kinds of remedies and
whatever, because what works for me today, it might not work
for me tomorrow ….” Id. at 114.
Plaintiff also takes medication- currently, Claritin-for her
allergies. Id. at 134.
problems with Plaintiff's hands began around 2001.
Id. at 112. She worked steadily until that time but
then had to stop. Id. at 111. In 2003, Plaintiff
went back to work but then did not work from 2004 to 2006.
Id. at 113. She testified that she was sick or
unable to work at that time. Id. During the periods
of time when she felt better, she went to a temp agency and
worked as much as she could. Id.
last worked as an intake representative at Community Blood
Center in January 2012. Id. at 107-08. She set up
appointments for people to donate blood. Id. at 108.
She quit because, “my hands had gotten so bad that I
couldn't keep up with the daily activities.”
Plaintiff has inflammation and pain in her hands, joints, and
feet. Id. at 115, 130. Dr. Mary John Thomas, a
rheumatologist, diagnosed fibromyalgia. Id. at 118.
However, Plaintiff never had “the 18-point fibromyalgia
has not had any mental health treatment but her primary-care
physician prescribes medication that helps her sleep.
Id. at 125. When asked why she needed it, she
explained, “it was … everything just came at me
at one time, you know? And it's just a little bit too
much, you know, sometimes. … [I]t helped me sleep, and
it just relaxed me to -- so I didn't have to worry a
lives in a house with her husband. Id. at 103-04.
She has a driver's license and usually drives about three
days a month. Id. at 104. On an average day, she
generally gets up before eight o'clock and does her
personal care. Id. at 122. Then, she might wash
dishes. Id. To wash dishes, she has to put on cotton
gloves with plastic gloves over them. Id. When she
wears two pairs of gloves, her hands sometimes sweat, then
start to itch. Id. She then determines what to do
next depending on how her hands are feeling. Id. at
122-23. She is sometimes able to cook. Id. at 123.
And, she can do laundry if she has gloves on. Id.
Besides those activities, she watches TV. Id.
Kathryn Balazs, D.O.
treating dermatologist, Dr. Balazs, completed an evaluation
on September 15, 2014. Id. at 521-28. She reported
that she began treating Plaintiff on January 16, 2012.
Id. at 522. She diagnosed atopic dermatitis,
exfoliative dermatitis, and allergic contact dermatitis.
Id. Dr. Balazs indicated that the skin on
Plaintiff's scalp, face, neck, chest, and hands have
lesions that have been present for at least three months.
Id. at 522-24. But, only the lesions on
Plaintiff's hands cause functional loss. Id. at
524. Specifically, “When swollen [and] peeling/flared,
[Plaintiff] is unable to use her hands. They crack from the
swelling … and are painful. This may last several
weeks each time. She is very compliant but her disease is
very challenging to control.” Id. Plaintiff
has tried several different medications, including topical
steroids, oral steroids, barrier repair creams, intramuscular
steroids, and antihistamines. Id. at 526. Plaintiff
is compliant with-and the lesions respond to-treatment.
Balazs also provided stark comments detailing her treatment
I have seen lots [and] lots of Dermatitis in my 14 years as a
practicing Dermatologist, and Ms. Luckett's case is one
of the most severe. She does everything I ask of her and she
is very difficult to control regardless. She is more
than willing to see other specialists to see if they can
help-like Rheumatology and Allergy[-]but so far her skin
condition is NOT well controlled. The frequency [and]
severity of her outbreaks have lessened but she still gets
swollen, inflamed skin on her hands, neck, face, [and] chest
quite regularly. I feel that it would be very difficult for
her to work with her hands in a job that required ...