United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE
J. LIMBERT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Amythyst Brown (“Plaintiff”), pro se, requests
judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner of
Social Security Administration (“Defendant”)
denying her applications for Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”) and Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”). ECF Dkt. #1. Plaintiff executed a brief
on the merits on October 6, 2018, which was filed on October
12, 2018. ECF Dkt. #12. Defendant filed a merits brief on
January 28, 2019. ECF Dkt. #15.
following reasons, the undersigned RECOMMENDS that the Court
AFFIRM the decision of the ALJ and dismiss Plaintiff's
case in its entirety with prejudice.
protectively filed her applications for DIB and SSI on
October 14, 2014, alleging disability beginning on November
9, 2012. ECF Dkt. #10 at 187-199. Her applications were
denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. at
123-150. Following the denial, Plaintiff requested a hearing
before an ALJ, which was held on August 19, 2016 Id.
at 151-165. Plaintiff appeared pro se at the hearing before
the ALJ. Id. at 45. On March 23, 2017, the ALJ
issued a decision and denied Plaintiff's applications for
DIB and SSI. Id. at 14. On February 20, 2018, the
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review of
the ALJ's decision. Id. at 1-4.
April 9, 2018, Plaintiff filed the instant suit seeking
review of the ALJ's decision. ECF Dkt. #1.
Plaintiff's brief on the merits was due on or before July
22, 2018. ECF Dkt. #11. On September 25, 2018, Plaintiff had
still not submitted her brief, and the undersigned issued an
order for the Plaintiff to show cause on or before October 9,
2018 why the undersigned should not recommend dismissal of
the case due to Plaintiff's failure to prosecute.
Id. Plaintiff executed a brief on the merits on
October 6, 2018, which was filed on October 12, 2018. ECF
Dkt. ##11, 12. Defendant filed a merits brief on January 28,
2019. ECF Dkt. #15.
SUMMARY OF RELEVANT PORTIONS OF THE ALJ'S
March 23, 2017 decision, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had not
engaged in substantial gainful activity since November 9,
2012, her alleged onset date. ECF Dkt. # 10 at 19. The ALJ
determined that Plaintiff had the following severe
impairments: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); anxiety
disorder; depressive disorder; personality disorder with
antisocial traits; and a history of polysubstance abuse in
reported partial remission (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(c) and
416.92(c)). Id. at 19-20. The ALJ found that the
Plaintiff's hypothyroidism and joint pain impairments
were non-severe. Id. at 20. Continuing, the ALJ
found that Plaintiff did not have an impairment or
combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the
severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part
404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. Id. at 20-22.
considering the record, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had the
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform a
full range of work at all exertional levels, but with the
following non-exertional limitations: she is limited to
performing simple, routine tasks, with no production pace
work; she should have no more than frequent interaction with
the public, coworkers, and supervisors; she should be
expected to adjust to no more than minimal changes in work
settings or work requirements. Id. at 22.
Considering Plaintiff's age, education, work experience,
and residual functional capacity, the ALJ determined that
Plaintiff can perform a significant variety of jobs that
exist in the national economy. Id. at 27. In
conclusion, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff had not been
under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act,
from November 9, 2012 through March 23, 2017. Id.
STEPS TO EVALUATE ENTITLEMENT TO SOCIAL SECURITY
must proceed through the required sequential steps for
evaluating entitlement to social security benefits. These
1. An individual who is working and engaging in substantial
gainful activity will not be found to be
“disabled” regardless of medical findings (20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(b) and 416.920(b) (1992));
2. An individual who does not have a “severe
impairment” will not be found to be
“disabled” (20 C.F.R. §§ ...