United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
DECISION AND ENTRY
L. Ovington United States Magistrate Judge.
Sharon White applied for Supplemental Security Income in
December 2013, asserting that she could no longer work due to
her health problems and their negative impact upon her. A
social security Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), Anne
Sharrard, determined that Plaintiff's health problems did
not constitute a “disability” as defined by the
Social Security Act. She therefore denied Plaintiff's
brings the present case challenging ALJ Sharrard's
decision. She identifies three main issues: Whether the ALJ
erred in conducting a proper pain analysis under Sixth
Circuit Precedent; whether the ALJ erred in her assessment of
Plaintiff's residual functional capacity; and, whether new
and material evidence warrants remand. (Doc. #11,
Commissioner argues that an Order affirming ALJ
Sharrard's decision is warranted because substantial
evidence supports her assessment of Plaintiff's residual
functional capacity and her findings regarding
Plaintiff's lack of credibility. The Commissioner further
contends that a remand is not warranted under sentence six of
42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
was 51 years old on the date she filed her application for
Supplemental Security Income. This placed her in the Social
Security Administration's category of a person closely
approaching advanced age. 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(d). She
has a high school education and worked in the past as an
auto-parts-assembly worker and an instrument technician.
testified during a hearing before ALJ Sharrard that she is
unable to work due to constant pain. (Doc. #8,
PageID # 97). If she walks for 30 to 40 minutes, her
“legs just start shaking.” Id. She
returns home because her legs feel like they “are about
to collapse.” Id. She then needs to lie in bed
for 2 days before she can attempt again to walk for that
length of time. Id. at 98.
severe low-back pain with numbness in her leg, occasional
neck pain, and severe headaches. Id. at 100, 108-09.
She explained, “I'm in constant pain all the time
… all day long. All day long. It's ever since the
[car] accident is nothing but pain. It's a horrible
life.” Id. at 108. She rated her average pain
a 7 out of a scale of 0 to 10 (no pain to serious pain
requiring a hospital visit). Id. at 113.
Plaintiff's pain wakes her up at twice a night.
Id. at 116. Due to her pain, Plaintiff testified
that she stays in bed most of the time. Id. at 103.
Specifically, Plaintiff testified that at least 3 times a
week she will lie in bed for 6 hours or more due to pain.
Id. at 110-111.
treat her pain, Plaintiff has participated in physical
therapy, takes prescription medications, and was given a
cream to apply for pain. Id. at 99, 107-08. In
addition, she exercises at home. But, her pain returns as
soon as she completes physical therapy, and if she pushes
herself to hard, she will get re-injured and lie in bed for 2
days. Id. at 100. Plaintiff testified that
medications make her unable to think straight and unable to
drive. Id. at 114. She also testified that she has
been prescribed medical devices, a cane and a back brace, to
assist her. Id. at 111-12. While she has needed a
cane since 2013, and had been previously offered one, she was
unable to afford it and could only obtain one when her
insurance agreed to pay. Id. at 112.
the day, Plaintiff vacuums a little but this increases her
pain, so she does not vacuum her home enough. She grocery
shops once a month with her mother and brother, but she does
not carry any grocery bags. Id. at 105.
testified that she can sit for 5 to 10 minutes before having
to move. She can lift 5 pounds. Id. at 106, 113-114.
She does not like to be around crowds and does not like
anyone to come near her. She noted, “I'm just
miserable.” Id. at 110. She also mentioned
that, in addition to pain, the reason she could not remain
employed at Walmart was her lack of patience. Id. at
123-24. Plaintiff worked at Walmart from November 2012 to
February 2013. Id. at 257.
the medical evidence of record, Plaintiff has provided a
detailed description of those records, and the Commissioner
relies on the ALJ's detailed description. There is no
need to repeat their cogent descriptions, and the most
pertinent evidence will be discussed when addressing the
The ALJ's Decision
eligibility to receive Supplemental Security hinged on
whether she was under a “disability” as defined
under social security law. See 42 U.S.C.
§§ 423(d)(1)(A)-(d)(2)(A), 1381a; see also
Bowen v. City of New York, 476 U.S. 467, 470 (1986). To
determine if she was under such a disability, ALJ Sharrard
evaluated the evidence under the Social Security
Administration's 5-step procedure. 20 C.F.R. §§
416.920(a)(4). Moving through step 1, the ALJ found at steps
2 and 3 that Plaintiff's impairments-including her severe
impairments of-“degenerative disc disease of lumbar
spine, osteoarthritis, depression, and adjustment disorder
with mixed emotional features-did not automatically entitle
her to benefits. (Doc. #8, PageID #s 63-70).
4, the ALJ found that the most Plaintiff could do despite her
impairments- her residual functional capacity, see Howard
v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 276 ...