United States District Court, N.D. Ohio
Denise A. Carr, Plaintiff,
Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security Defendants.
M. Parker, Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. BARKER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Objections of Plaintiff
Denise A. Carr (“Plaintiff” or
“Carr”) to the Report and Recommendation of
Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Parker regarding Plaintiff's
request for judicial review of Defendant Commissioner of the
Social Security Administration's (“Defendant”
or “Commissioner”) denial of her applications for
Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under Titles
II and XVI of the Social Security Act. (Doc. No. 18.) For the
reasons that follow, Plaintiff's Objections are
overruled, the Report & Recommendation
(“R&R”) is accepted, and the
Commissioner's decision is affirmed.
2015, Plaintiff filed her applications for DIB and SSI,
alleging a disability onset date of March 27, 2015. (Doc. No.
10 (Transcript [“Tr.”]) at 11.) The applications
were denied initially and upon reconsideration, and Plaintiff
requested a hearing before an administrative law judge
(“ALJ”). (Id.) On August 11, 2017, the
ALJ conducted a hearing at which Plaintiff was represented by
counsel and testified. (Id.) A vocational expert
(“VE”) also testified. (Id.) On December
28, 2017, the ALJ found Plaintiff was not disabled. (Tr.
11-22.) The Appeals Council declined to review the ALJ's
decision, and the ALJ's decision became the
Commissioner's final decision. Plaintiff seeks judicial
review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c).
(Doc. No. 1.)
case was referred to the Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rule 72.2(b)(1) for a Report and
Recommendation. The R & R concludes that there was
substantial evidence supporting the ALJ's decision and
recommends that the decision be affirmed. Plaintiff filed
Objections to the R & R, to which the Commissioner
responded. (Doc. Nos. 18, 19.)
raises one specific objection to the R & R, i.e., that
the Magistrate Judge improperly concluded that the ALJ
followed the law in evaluating Plaintiff's symptoms and
credibility in accordance with SSR 16-3p. (Doc. No. 18.) The
Court has conducted a de novo review of the issues
raised in Plaintiff's Objections.
Standard of Review
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), “[a] judge of the court
shall make a de novo determination of those portions
of the report or specified proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C); see Powell v. United States, 37
F.3d 1499 (Table), 1994 WL 532926 at *1 (6th Cir. Sept. 30,
1994) (“Any report and recommendation by a magistrate
judge that is dispositive of a claim or defense of a party
shall be subject to de novo review by the district
court in light of specific objections filed by any
party.”) (citations omitted); Orr v. Kelly,
2015 WL 5316216 at *2 (N.D. Ohio Sept. 11, 2015) (citing
Powell, 1994 WL 532926 at *1). See also
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). “A judge of the court may
accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings
or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28
the Social Security Act, a disability renders the claimant
unable to engage in substantial gainful activity because of a
medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can
result in death or that can last at least twelve months. 42
U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A); 20 C.F.R. § 404.1505(a). The
impairment must prevent the claimant from doing the
claimant's previous work, as well as any other work which
exists in significant numbers in the region where the
individual lives or in several regions of the country. 42
U.S.C. § 423(d)(2)(A). Consideration of disability
claims follows a five-step review process. 20 C.F.R. §
Court's review of the Commissioner's decision to deny
benefits is limited to determining whether the ALJ applied
the correct legal standards and whether the findings are
supported by substantial evidence. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
“Substantial evidence is ‘more than a scintilla
of evidence but less than a preponderance; it is such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.'” McGlothin
v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 299 Fed.Appx. 516, 521 (6th
Cir. 2008) (quoting Rogers v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 486 F.3d 234, 241 (6th Cir. 2007) (internal
substantial evidence supports the Commissioner's finding
that the claimant is not disabled, that finding must be
affirmed even if the reviewing court would decide the matter
differently. Cutlip v. Sec'y of Health & Human
Servs., 25 F.3d 284, 286 (6th Cir. 1994) (citation
omitted). A reviewing court is not permitted to resolve
conflicts in evidence or to decide questions of credibility.
Bass v. McMahon, 499 F.3d 506, 509 (6th Cir. 2007)
(citation omitted). Moreover, the Commissioner's decision
must be affirmed even if substantial evidence also exists in
the record to support a finding of disability. Felisky v.
Bowen, 35 F.3d 1027, 1035 (6th Cir. 1994) (citing
Mullen v. Bowen, 800 F.2d 535, 545 (6th Cir. 1986)).
Plaintiff's Objection to ...