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.

English v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration

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

June 4, 2019

MELISSA ENGLISH, on behalf of A.E., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          WILLIAM H. BAUGHMAN, JR., MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Introduction

         Before me[1] is an action by Melissa English on behalf of minor A.E. under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying her application for supplemental security income.[2] Because the ALJ's no disability finding lacks the support of substantial evidence, this matter is reversed and remanded for further administrative proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         Issue Presented

         This case presents the following issue for review:

. The ALJ gave great weight to the opinion of Dr. Marcia Troese, a consulting examiner.[3] Dr. Troese's opinion spoke in terms of areas of functioning, not the six domains set forth in the regulations.[4] The ALJ made no effort to analyze how Dr. Troese's observations, test findings, or recommendations relate to degrees of limitation in the relevant domains.[5] Does substantial evidence support the ALJ's determination that A.E. has less than marked limitations in the domains of acquiring and using information and in attending and completing tasks?

         Analysis

         The Sixth Circuit in Buxton v. Halter reemphasized the standard of review applicable to decisions of the ALJs in disability cases:

Congress has provided for federal court review of Social Security administrative decisions. However, the scope of review is limited under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g): “The findings of the Secretary as to any fact, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive. . . .” In other words, on review of the Commissioner's decision that claimant is not totally disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act, the only issue reviewable by this court is whether the decision is supported by substantial evidence. Substantial evidence is “‘more than a mere scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.'”
The findings of the Commissioner are not subject to reversal merely because there exists in the record substantial evidence to support a different conclusion. This is so because there is a “zone of choice” within which the Commissioner can act, without the fear of court interference.[6]

         Viewed in the context of a jury trial, all that is necessary to affirm is that reasonable minds could reach different conclusions on the evidence. If such is the case, the Commissioner survives “a directed verdict” and wins.[7] The court may not disturb the Commissioner's findings, even if the preponderance of the evidence favors the claimant.[8]

         I will review the findings of the ALJ at issue here consistent with that deferential standard.

         The state agency reviewing sources opined on initial review that A.E. had less than marked limitations in the first three domains and no limitations in the last three domains.[9]The ALJ gave these opinions partial weight, as they were not based on a review of the entire medical record, and they were issued by non-examining sources.[10] On reconsideration, the state agency sources found A.E. had less than marked limitations in all but one domain.[11] The ALJ again assigned partial weight to these opinions, as the state agency sources had not examined A.E. and they did not have the benefit of the testimony presented at the hearing.[12]

         Dr. Troese conducted a comprehensive evaluation of A.E. over the course of three days, including testing, on a referral from Ohio Guidestone.[13] Following that evaluation, Dr. Troese issued a thorough and complex written opinion regarding A.E.'s current levels of functioning and treatment needs.[14] The report does not speak in terms of the Social Security Administration's regulatory domains for determining disability in children between six and 12 years of age.[15] Rather, Dr. Troese's report speaks in areas of functioning: cognitive; adaptive; executive; and ...


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.