United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
PAMELA S. WATKINS, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
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
AN IMMEDIATE AWARD OF BENEFITS; AND (3) TERMINATING THIS CASE
ON THE COURT'S DOCKET
Michael J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge.
a Social Security disability benefits appeal for which the
parties have consented to entry of final judgment. 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. 15),
Plaintiff's reply (doc. 17), the administrative record
(doc. 7),  and the record as a whole.
filed for DIB and SSI alleging a disability onset date of
April 30, 2012. PageID 1916. Plaintiff claims disability as a
result of a number of alleged impairments including,
inter alia, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches,
depression, and anxiety. PageID 69.
an initial denial of her application, Plaintiff received a
hearing before ALJ Lloyd E. Hubler, III on April 16, 2015.
PageID 135-80. The ALJ issued a written decision on May 30,
2015 finding Plaintiff not disabled. PageID 242-45. The
Appeals Council remanded ALJ Hubler's decision, ordering
a reconsideration of whether Plaintiff was disabled for a
closed period of disability. PageID 254-55.
remand, Plaintiff received a hearing before ALJ Gregory G.
Kenyon on January 10, 2017. PageID 85-117. ALJ Kenyon issued
a written decision on March 23, 2017, again finding Plaintiff
not disabled. PageID 66-75. Specifically, ALJ Kenyon found at
Step Five that, based upon Plaintiff's residual
functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform a reduced
range of medium work,  “there are jobs that exist in
significant numbers in the national economy that [Plaintiff]
can perform[.]” PageID 70-75.
the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review, making ALJ Kenyon's non-disability finding the
final administrative decision of the Commissioner. PageID
58-60. 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 March 23,
2017 non-disability finding by ALJ Kenyon (hereinafter
“ALJ”) is now before the Court for review.
Evidence of Record
evidence of record is adequately summarized in the ALJ's
decision (PageID 66-73), Plaintiff's Statement of Errors
(doc. 11), the Commissioner's memorandum in opposition
(doc. 15), and Plaintiff's reply (doc. 17). 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