United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
Albert J. Hauck, Jr., Plaintiff,
Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL H. WATSON, JUDGE.
August 2, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and
Recommendation ("R&R") recommending that the
Court overrule Plaintiff's Statement of Errors and affirm
the Commissioner's decision. R&R, ECF No. 15.
Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, objected to the
R&R. ECF No. 16. For the following reasons, the Court
OVERRULES Plaintiffs objections,
AFFIRMS and ADOPTS the
R&R, and DISMISSES
protectively filed for Social Security Disability Insurance
benefits, and Period of Disability benefits, on August 2,
2013, alleging that he had been disabled since December 30,
2008. ALJ Decision, ECF No. 8-2, at PAGEID # 76. Plaintiffs
last date insured was March 31, 2011. Id. After his
applications were denied, initially and upon reconsideration,
Plaintiff went before Administrative Law Judge
("ALJ") Edmund E. Giorgione for a hearing.
Id. On August 11, 2015, the ALJ issued an opinion
denying Plaintiff benefits. Id. at PAGEID ## 76-86.
Following the Appeals Council's denial of his request for
review, the ALJ's opinion became final on August 19,
2016. Appeals Council Decision, ECF No. 8-2, at PAGEID # 57.
subsequently filed a timely Complaint for review in this
Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The Magistrate
Judge analyzed Plaintiff's Statement of Errors and
recommended the Court affirm the Commissioner's decision.
Plaintiff objected to the Magistrate Judge's
appears to object to some of the Magistrate Judge's
factual accounts. See generally Obj., ECF No. 16.
The Court adopts the Magistrate Judge's fact summary to
the extent it is not objected to by Plaintiff and will
discuss in more detail any factual discrepancies and other
facts relevant to the resolution of Plaintiffs objections.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
party objects to an R&R within the allotted time, the
Court "shall make a de novo determination of
those portions of the report or specified proposed findings
or recommendations to which objection is made." 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see also Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(b). Upon review, the Court "may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations
made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. §
well settled that, when objecting to an R&R, a party must
make "specific written objections" to the
magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations.
Fed R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). A general statement that the
magistrate judge erred does not aid judicial efficiency, the
purpose "for which the use of magistrates [was]
authorized." Howard v. Sec'y of Health &
Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991); see
also Holl v. Potter, No. C-1-09-618, 2011 WL 4337038,
at*1 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 15, 2011), aff'd, 506
Fed.Appx.438 (2012) ("Objections that merely restate
arguments raised in the memoranda considered by the
Magistrate Judge are not proper, and the Court may consider
such repetitive arguments waived.").
in Social Security cases, the Court's review "is
limited to determining whether the Commissioner's
decision 'is supported by substantial evidence and was
made pursuant to the proper legal standards.'"
Ealy v. Comm'rof Soc. Sec, 594 F.3d 504, 512
(6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Rogers v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec, 486 F.3d 234, 241 (6th Cir. 2007)). In this
context, "[substantial evidence is defined as 'more
than a scintilla of evidence but less than a preponderance
....'" Rogers, 486 F.3d at 421 (quoting
Cutlip v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 25
F.3d 284, 286 (6th Cir. 1994)). Put another way,
"[substantial evidence exists when a 'reasonable
mind might accept' the relevant evidence 'as adequate
to support a conclusion.'" Warner v. Comm'r
of Soc Sec, 375 F.3d 387, 390 (6th Cir. 2004) (quoting
Kirk v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 667
F.2d 524, 535 (6th Cir. 1997)).
asserts numerous objections, which the Court has tried to
classify into five main categories of objections: (1)
inaccuracies with his date last insured; (2) issues with the
record evidence; (3) error as to the ALJ's mental
determination at step two; (4) error as to the ALJ's
residual functional capacity ("RFC") determination
as not being supported by substantial evidence; and (5) error
as to the ALJ's consideration of Plaintiffs activities of
daily living ("ADL"). The Court will address each
objection in turn.
The ALJ's determination of Plaintiff's date last
overarching issue that affects what evidence is even
considered on de novo review is Plaintiffs date last
insured. As the Magistrate Judge explained:
A claimant must have sufficient quarters of coverage to be
entitled to disability insurance benefits. 42 U.S.C. §
423(a)(1)(A), (c)(1); see also 20 C.F.R. §
404.10(a) ("Whether you have the required insured status
depends on the number of quarters of coverage (QCs) you have
acquired."). A claimant's insured status may expire,
see 20 C.F.R. § 404.130(b), and the claimant is
only entitled to disability benefits if he is able to show
that he was "under a disability" within the meaning
of the Social Security Act by his date last insured, 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.131(a), 404.320(b)(2); see