United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
ROSE A. MCGILL, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.
M. Rose, District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
L. OVINGTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Social Security Administration denied Plaintiff Rose
McGill's October 11, 2103 application for Supplemental
Security Income. She brings the present case challenging that
denial. At issue is the decision by Administrative Law Judge
(ALJ) Gregory G. Kenyon. He concluded that Plaintiff is not
under a disability and, consequently, not eligible to receive
Supplemental Security Income.
seeks an Order reversing ALJ Kenyon's decision and
remanding for an award of benefits. The Commissioner seeks an
Order affirming ALJ Kenyon's decision.
Plaintiff's Vocational Profile and Testimony
was 47 years old on her asserted disability onset date. She
was therefore considered a younger person under Social
Security Regulations. 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c). She has an
eleventh-grade education and no past relevant work. She does
not read or write very well. She can read a newspaper but
does not understand what she reads. (Doc. #6, PageID
an administrative hearing held by ALJ Kenyon, Plaintiff
testified that she is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 261
pounds. She lives alone in an apartment. She has a
driver's license but does “not really”
drive-she just doesn't want to. Id. at 75.
began having back problems after her first child was born.
Her back pain had worsened in the last couple of years before
the ALJ's hearing (in September 2015). Id. It is
a sharp pain in her lower back that radiates into her hip.
She estimated her pain severity at 4 on a 0-10 scale (10
equaling the most pain). Low-back pain causes her trouble
bending at the waist. Id. at 78.
was using a wheelchair at the time of the ALJ's hearing
due to recent surgery. She had previously used a walker
starting in approximately 2012 due to weakness in her legs
due to blood loss from bleeding, which had been surgically
corrected. Id. at 79.
also testified to suffering from breathing problems, noting
“it's hard for me to walk anywhere… I
can't breathe, I get really weak, lightheaded, I want to
fall down.” Id. at 82. This occurs whenever
she walks. She does not use inhalers and does not smoke. She
is limited to walking 40 to 50 feet because she gets out of
breath. Id. at 86. She can sit for 60 to 90 minutes.
has a history of anxiety and depression. She said she
isolates herself in her room 15 hours per day and rarely
leaves her home because she gets nervous and anxious around
others. Id. at 83-84. When she watches television,
she has a hard time paying attention. She explained,
“My mind drifts off on everything I do….”
Id. at 85.
estimated that that she is cannot lift more than 5 pounds or
walk more than 50 feet. Id. at 87. She can stand in
one spot for 3 or 4 minutes.
daily activities, Plaintiff testified that she spends most of
her time in her room laying down and playing solitaire on her
phone. Id. at 86. She can dress herself, take a
shower and bath but has a hard time doing her hair.
Id. at 87. She doesn't perform household chores;
her daughter visits and helps. She likes to sit at her desk
and read her Bible for 30-minutes. Id. She stops
because she gets tired and gets frustrated with her inability
to understand it. She also forgets what she's read.
Id. at 91. There was a time when she went to Bible
study on Friday nights but this lasted only 2 months because
she “just wanted to go back into [her]
corner….” Id. at 92.
sought mental health treatment at TCN in October 2012. (Doc.
#6, PageID #s 293-312). She presented feeling
depressed and having difficulty leaving her home because of
limited motivation and an inability to safely walk.
Id. at 293, 311. Plaintiff was diagnosed with
recurrent depressive psychosis. Id. at 403.
seen by her therapist in December 2012, Plaintiff reported
that she has gotten a walker, an eye exam, new glasses and
her driver's license. Her medications were working very
well. She indicated that her mood was very good and she had
been able to come out of her room and help with fixing meals.
She was also able to visit with visitors and not feel
overwhelmed. Id.at 341. On mental-status
examination, Plaintiff was well groomed, exhibited slow
speech, was cooperative, thought process was within normal
limits, her mood was euthymic, full range effect, but she
appeared confused with limited insight and judgment.
Id. at 339-40.
saw Bobbie Fussichen, APRN, BC, a nurse specialist, for a
psychiatric evaluation on December 2, 2012. Id. at
386-90. Plaintiff reported a history of depression for at
least 1 year, low energy, interest, and motivation. She
isolated herself in her room, slept poorly, and had decreased
concentration. Id. at 386. During a mental-status
examination, Plaintiff exhibited slow speech, depressed mood,
restricted affect, impaired cognition, and poor
insight/judgment. Id. at 388-89. She had no previous
mental health treatment. Id. at 390.
February 2013, Plaintiff's daughter called TCN and
reported that Plaintiff will not get out of bed to take her
medication. She received medical news about having tumors and
denied social-security benefits. Id. at 361.
April 2013, Plaintiff reported to Nurse Fussichen that she
was moving a little better, had been going to physical
therapy, sleeping ok, sleeping during the day but was awake
at night. Her appetite was good and she had no new problems.
Her medications were helping and she felt less depressed.
Id. at 394. On mental-status examination, her
thought content was normal, she was cooperative, her mood was
improved but she remained depressed, and she had a full
affect. Id. at 394-95.
August 14, 2013, Plaintiff met with a CSS (Community Support
Services) staff member, a support program provided by TCN
Behavioral. Plaintiff reported that on a bad day, she has
depression with symptoms including self-isolation,
loneliness, and tearfulness. Id. 314. On August 27,
2013, Plaintiff met again with a CSS staff member who noted
Plaintiff's “mood was good with cooperative
behavior and disorganized thought process….”
Id. at 318. She was sleeping well and taking
medications as prescribed. Id. at 317-18.
a home visit in September 2013, the same CSS staff member
informed Plaintiff that he would assist her in applying for
SSI. He also informed her “that due to her diagnosis
and ability to work that she may not qualify for SSI.”
Id. at 320. When seen by Nurse Fussichen on October
2, 2013, Plaintiff's mood was a little depressed, she was
cooperative and had normal thought processes. She reported to
Nurse Fussichen that she was getting 7 hours of broken sleep
and her medication was helpful expect for sleep. Id.
staff member visited Plaintiff's home in November 2013 to
help her with a phone interview she had with the Social
Security Administration. Id. at 331. He noted that
Plaintiff had to be redirected multiple times throughout the
meeting due to depression and anxiety, which caused her to
become anxious and lose focus on the task at hand.
Id. In December 2013, the CSS staff member visited
Plaintiff to assist her with symptom self-monitoring due to
disorganization, depression, and anxiety. He reviewed
Plaintiff's daily activities with her due to isolation,
reviewed the importance of increasing daily activity, and
encouraged her to be more active. He noted Plaintiff's
mood was good, her behavior was cooperative, and her thought
process was disorganized. Id. at 449.
Fussichen completed a mental impairment questionnaire in late
January 2014. Id. at 418-21. She diagnosed Plaintiff
with major depression, recurrent. Id. at 418.
Plaintiff's symptoms include sleep and mood disturbances;
psychomotor agitation or retardation; social withdrawal or
isolation; blunt, flat, or inappropriate affect; and
decreased energy. Id. Nurse Fussichen found that
Plaintiff's symptoms had improved with medication, but
she continued to struggle and her prognosis was guarded.
Id. at 419.
Fussichen opined that Plaintiff was markedly restricted in
her ability to maintain concentration, persistence, or pace;
maintain attention for extended periods; make simple
work-related decisions; comprehend detailed instructions; ask
simple questions or requests assistance; and, respond
appropriately to criticism from supervisors. Id. at
420. According the Nurse Fussichen, Plaintiff would be
moderately limited in her activities of daily living and in
her ability to maintain social functioning; understand and
remember instructions; maintain a schedule; sustain an
ordinary routine; complete a normal work day and work week;
interact with the general public; and ...