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Moody v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

August 13, 2019

KARISSA JEAN MOODY, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          MICHAEL H. WATSON, JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ELIZABETH A. PRESTON DEAVERS, CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, Karissa Jean Moody, brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) denying her application for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. This matter is before the United States Magistrate Judge for a Report and Recommendation on Plaintiff's Statement of Errors (ECF No. 8), the Commissioner's Memorandum in Opposition (ECF No. 14) and the administrative record (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff did not file a Reply. For the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that Plaintiff's Statement of Errors be OVERRULED and that the Commissioner's decision be AFFIRMED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income on December 9, 2014, alleging that she had been disabled since September 9, 2014. (R. at 189-203.) Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration. (R. at 137- 42, 144-48.) Plaintiff sought a de novo hearing before an administrative law judge. (R. at 151- 52.) Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Gregory Moldafsky held a hearing on May 11, 2017, at which Plaintiff, who was represented by counsel, appeared and testified. (R. at 44-78.) On August 29, 2017, the ALJ issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. (R. at 16-29.) On April 3, 2018, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review and adopted the ALJ's decision as the Commissioner's final decision. (R. at 1-4.) Plaintiff then timely commenced the instant action.

         II. RELEVANT HEARING TESTIMONY

         Plaintiff testified at the administrative hearing about her narcolepsy and cataplexy episodes, testifying as follows:

Q So tell me about your narcolepsy and cataplexy. How, how, how, yeah, what's the frequency? What's that look like for you nowadays?
A Narcolepsy is a struggle every day. Basically, I take a medicine to stay awake, and I have to take something to go to bed. And I really -
Q So you just feel excessively tired during the day?
A All the time, and when I have a cataplexy it's ten times worse. It's almost like a seizure. It drains you.
Q Sure. How often are you having those? I know there's some triggers. You just trying to kind of avoid the triggers?
A Right. I can have them up to 100 times a day. It just depends.
Q Okay. So, I don't know necessarily think you're having 100 cataplex episodes every day, are you?
A Yeah.
Q That's, that's what you're going to say? That's your average -
A Well, not every day --
Q -- every day?
A -- but they have been known --
Q That seems like a very long day.
A -- excessive.
Q So -- and when you're cataplexed, your legs give out and you're able to what happens?
A I have no muscle tone whatsoever. I can't hold my head up. I can't --
Q And how long does that last or what do you do? What happens?
A Sometimes they last a good two minutes, I would say.
Q And is there any residual effects afterwards or just kind of --
A Yeah. I'm --
Q -- get your --
A I'm very exhausted after ...

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