United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
H. Rice District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION  THAT: (1)
THE ALJ'S NON-DISABILITY FINDING BE FOUND SUPPORTED BY
SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE, AND AFFIRMED; AND (2) THIS CASE BE
MICHAEL J. NEWMAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a Social Security disability benefits appeal. At issue is
whether the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
erred in finding Plaintiff not “disabled” and
therefore unentitled to Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”). This case is before the Court upon
Plaintiff's Statement of Errors (doc. 7), the
Commissioner's memorandum in opposition (doc. 8), the
administrative record (doc. 5), and the record as a whole.
September 2013, Plaintiff filed applications for
and DIB asserting disability as of January 1, 2007 (later she
amended her onset date to January 9, 2009. PageID 79). PageID
205, 212. Plaintiff claims disability as a result of multiple
impairments including, inter alia, lumbar
sprain/strain, left rotator cuff sprain, and obesity. PageID
initial denial of her applications, Plaintiff received a
hearing before ALJ Mark Hockensmith on October 10, 2015.
PageID 73-96. The ALJ issued a decision on November 4, 2015
finding Plaintiff not disabled. PageID 59-67. Specifically,
the ALJ found at Step 4 that, based upon Plaintiff's
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform a
reduced range of medium work,  she “was capable of
performing past relevant work as a cleaner, housekeep[er] and
a cleaner of laboratory equipment.” PageID 62-67.
the Appeals Council denied review on October 12, 2016, making
the ALJ's non-disability finding the final administrative
decision of the Commissioner. PageID 41-44. See Casey v.
Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 987 F.2d 1230,
1233 (6th Cir. 1993). Plaintiff then filed this timely
appeal. Cook v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 480 F.3d
432, 435 (6th Cir. 2007).
Evidence of Record
evidence of record is adequately summarized in the ALJ's
decision (PageID 44-50), Plaintiff's Statement of Errors
(doc. 7), the Commissioner's memorandum in opposition
(doc. 11), and Plaintiff's reply (doc. 13). The
undersigned incorporates all of the foregoing and sets forth
the facts relevant to this decision herein.
Standard of Review
Court's inquiry on a Social Security appeal is to
determine (1) whether the ALJ's non-disability finding is
supported by substantial evidence, and (2) whether the ALJ
employed the correct legal criteria. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g);
Bowen v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 478 F.3d 742, 745-
46 (6th Cir. 2007). In performing this review, the Court must
consider the record as a whole. Hephner v. Mathews,
574 F.2d 359, 362 (6th Cir. 1978).
evidence is “such relevant evidence as a reasonable
mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.”
Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401
(1971). When substantial evidence supports the
ALJ's denial of benefits, that finding must be affirmed,
even if substantial evidence also exists in the record upon
which the ALJ could have found Plaintiff disabled. Buxton
v. Halter, 246 F.3d 762, 772 (6th Cir. 2001). Thus, the
ALJ has ...