United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
JESSICA I. TRICK, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
DECISION AND ENTRY: (1) REVERSING THE ALJ'S
NON-DISABILITY FINDING AS UNSUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL
EVIDENCE; (2) REMANDING THIS CASE UNDER THE FOURTH SENTENCE
OF 42 U.S.C. § 405(G) FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS; AND (3)
TERMINATING THIS CASE ON THE COURT'S DOCKET
Michael J. Newman, United States Magistrate Judge
a Social Security disability benefits appeal. At issue is
whether the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
erred in finding Plaintiff not “disabled” and
therefore unentitled to Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”) and/or Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”). This case is before the Court on
Plaintiff's Statement of Errors (doc. 11), the
Commissioner's memorandum in opposition (doc. 16),
Plaintiff's reply (doc. 17), the administrative record
(doc. 7),  and the record as a whole.
originally filed for DIB and SSI on July 17, 2008 alleging a
disability onset date of June 1, 2007. Tr. 99.
Plaintiff's claim for benefits was considered by ALJ
Amelia G. Lombardo, who determined Plaintiff's only
severe impairment was bipolar disorder. Tr. 102. By written
decision on October 29, 2010, ALJ Lombardo found Plaintiff
not disabled and unentitled to benefits. Tr. 96-111.
Plaintiff did not appeal this decision.
again filed for DIB and SSI on April 29, 2015 alleging a
disability onset date of June 24, 2014. In this second
application, Plaintiff claims disability as a result of a
number of alleged impairments including, inter alia,
degenerative disc disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease (“COPD”), obesity, an affective disorder,
and a personality disorder. Tr. 13.
an initial denial of her application, Plaintiff received a
hearing before ALJ Deborah F. Sanders on March 21, 2017. Tr
44-94. PageID. ALJ Sanders issued a written decision on
August 23, 2017 finding Plaintiff not disabled. Tr. 10-28.
Specifically, the ALJ found at Step Five that, based upon
Plaintiff's residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform a reduced range of light work,
“there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in
the national economy that [Plaintiff] can perform[.]”
the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review, making ALJ Sanders' (hereinafter
“ALJ”) non-disability finding the final
administrative decision of the Commissioner. Tr. 1-3. 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). This August 23, 2017
non-disability finding is now before the Court for review.
Evidence of Record
evidence of record is adequately summarized in the ALJ's
decision (Tr. 63-78), Plaintiff's Statement of Errors
(doc. 13), the Commissioner's memorandum in opposition
(doc. 18), and Plaintiff's reply (doc. 19). The
undersigned incorporates all of the foregoing and sets forth
the facts relevant to this appeal herein.
Standard of Review
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).
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