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Hagood v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

June 27, 2018

JASMAINE N. HAGOOD, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          Walter H. Rice District Judge.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [1] THAT: (1) THE ALJ'S NON-DISABILITY FINDING BE FOUND SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE AND AFFIRMED; AND (2) THIS CASE BE TERMINATED ON THE COURT'S DOCKET

          Michael J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge.

         This is a Social Security disability benefits appeal. At issue is whether the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) erred in finding Plaintiff[2] not “disabled” and therefore unentitled to disabled adult child benefits (“DAC”).[3] This case is before the Court upon Plaintiff's Statement of Errors (doc. 9), the Commissioner's memorandum in opposition (doc. 15), the administrative record, [4] and the record as a whole.

         I.

         A. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed for DAC alleging a disability onset date of January 3, 2014.[5] Tr. 303-16. Plaintiff claims disability as a result of a number of alleged impairments including, inter alia, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder. Tr. 36.

         After an initial denial of her application, Plaintiff received a hearing before ALJ Benjamin Chaykin on May 12, 2016. Tr. 871-94. The ALJ issued a decision on July 22, 2016 finding Plaintiff not disabled. Tr. 33-42. Specifically, the ALJ found at Step Five that, based upon Plaintiff's residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform a reduced range of medium work, [6]“there are jobs in that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that [she] can perform[.]” Tr. 38-42.

         Thereafter, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, making the ALJ's non-disability finding the final administrative decision of the Commissioner. Tr. 9-11. 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).

         B. Evidence of Record

         The evidence of record is adequately summarized in the ALJ's decision (Tr. 33-42), Plaintiff's Statement of Errors (doc. 9) and the Commissioner's memorandum in opposition (doc. 15). The undersigned incorporates all of the foregoing and sets forth the facts relevant to this appeal herein.

         II.

         A. Standard of Review

         The 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).

         Substantial 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 a ...


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