Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bowman v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

November 22, 2017

JENNIFER L. BOWMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          Dlott, J.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Karen L. Litkovitz, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff Jennifer L. Bowman brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) denying her application for disability insurance benefits (“DIB”). This matter is before the Court on plaintiff's statement of errors (Doc. 11) and the Commissioner's response in opposition (Doc. 15).

         I. Procedural Background

         Plaintiff filed her application for DIB in June 2012, alleging disability since May 3, 2012 due to degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, migraine headaches, obesity, depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity dis, and borderline intellectual functioning. The application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Plaintiff, through counsel, requested and was granted a hearing before administrative law judge (“ALJ”) Andrew Gollin. Plaintiff and a vocational expert (“VE”) appeared and testified at the ALJ hearing. On October 6, 2015, the ALJ issued a decision denying plaintiff's DIB application. Plaintiff's request for review by the Appeals Council was denied, making the decision of the ALJ the final administrative decision of the Commissioner.

         II. Analysis

         A. Legal Framework for Disability Determinations

         To qualify for disability benefits, a claimant must suffer from a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). The impairment must render the claimant unable to engage in the work previously performed or in any other substantial gainful employment that exists in the national economy. 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(2).

         Regulations promulgated by the Commissioner establish a five-step sequential evaluation process for disability determinations:

1) If the claimant is doing substantial gainful activity, the claimant is not disabled.
2) If the claimant does not have a severe medically determinable physical or mental impairment - i.e., an impairment that significantly limits his or her physical or mental ability to do basic work activities - the claimant is not disabled.
3) If the claimant has a severe impairment(s) that meets or equals one of the listings in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of the regulations and meets the duration requirement, the claimant is disabled.
4) If the claimant's impairment does not prevent him or her from doing his or her past relevant work, the claimant is not disabled.
5) If the claimant can make an adjustment to other work, the claimant is not disabled. If the claimant cannot make an adjustment to other work, the claimant is disabled.

Rabbers v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 582 F.3d 647, 652 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(i)-(v), 404.1520(b)-(g)). The claimant has the burden of proof at the first four steps of the sequential evaluation process. Id.; Wilson v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 378 F.3d 541, 548 (6th Cir. 2004). Once the claimant establishes a prima facie case by showing an inability to perform the relevant previous employment, the burden shifts to the Commissioner to show that the claimant can perform other substantial gainful employment and that such employment exists in the national economy. Rabbers, 582 F.3d at 652; Harmon v. Apfel, 168 F.3d 289, 291 (6th Cir. 1999).

         B. The Administrative Law Judge's Findings

         The ALJ applied the sequential evaluation process and made the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

1. The [plaintiff] meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2015.
2. The [plaintiff] has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since May 3, 2012, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571, et seq.).
3. The [plaintiff] has the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, migraine headaches, obesity, depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and borderline intellectual functioning (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).[1]
4. The [plaintiff] does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the [ALJ] finds that the [plaintiff] has the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) with the following limitations: she requires some flexibility to change positions from sit to stand and vice versa approximately every 30 minutes. She can occasionally climb ramps and stairs. She can never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. She can occasionally balance, stoop, crouch, kneel, and crawl. She can have no exposure to extreme cold, extreme heat, and vibration. She cannot perform work involving workplace hazards such as mechanical parts or equipment and/or unprotected heights. She cannot perform work involving the operation of motorized vehicles. She can understand, ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.