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.

Hauck v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

March 30, 2018

Albert J. Hauck, Jr., Plaintiff,
v.
Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          Jolson Magistrate Judge.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL H. WATSON, JUDGE.

         On 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 Plaintiff's Complaint.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff 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.

         Plaintiff 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 recommendation.

         Plaintiff 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.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         When a 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. § 636(b)(1).

         It is 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.").

         Furthermore, 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)).

         III. ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff 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.

         A. The ALJ's determination of Plaintiff's date last insured

         An 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 ...

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.