United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
H. Rice District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
L. OVINGTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Lisa Finney brings this case challenging the Social Security
Administration's denial of her application for period of
disability and Disability Insurance Benefits. She applied for
benefits on November 6, 2014, asserting that she could no
longer work a substantial paid job. Administrative Law Judge
(ALJ) Elizabeth A. Motta concluded that she was not eligible
for benefits because she is not under a
“disability” as defined in the Social Security
case is before the Court upon Plaintiff's Statement of
Errors (Doc. #8), the Commissioner's Memorandum in
Opposition (Doc. #9), Plaintiff's Reply (Doc. #10), and
the administrative record (Doc. #5).
seeks a remand of this case for payment of benefits or, at a
minimum, for further proceedings. The Commissioner asks the
Court to affirm ALJ Motta's non-disability decision.
asserts that she has been under a “disability”
since July 27, 2013. She was forty-seven years old at that
time and was therefore considered a “younger
person” under Social Security Regulations. See
20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c). She has a high school
education. See Id. § 404.1564(b)(4).
hearing, ALJ Motta asked Plaintiff to focus on the time
period between the middle of 2013 and the end of 2015. (Doc.
#5, PageID #270). Plaintiff testified that her whole
body started bothering her beginning in 2011. Id. at
270, 278-79. “I was in so much pain I was crying all
the time. Couldn't hardly walk.… My hands and
stuff [were] crippling up. When I would wake up, I would be a
fetal position.” Id. at 270-71. She began
treatment with Dr. Ranginwala who diagnosed rheumatoid
arthritis and fibromyalgia. Id. at 271, 279. He
prescribed her medications-“he had me on so much
medication I couldn't even begin to tell you what all he
had me on.” Id. at 273. ALJ Motta looked
through the record and found that during the relevant time
period, Plaintiff's medications included Neurontin,
Amitriptyline, Norco, Cymbalta, Zanaflex, and Flexeril.
Id. at 272-73. But with those medications, Plaintiff
was still in constant pain. The only medications that helped
were Flexeril and Amitriptyline. Neurontin caused Plaintiff
to pass out and she had to start seeing a heart doctor (who
took her off it). Id. at 271, 278. About a year
before the hearing, Dr. Abraham at Pain Innovations
prescribed Percocet for fibromyalgia. Id. at 271.
She has also had injections in her right leg. Id. at
attorney asked her to use September 30, 2015-when she went to
OSU Rheumatology-as a benchmark. Id. at 276.
Plaintiff explained that at that time, she had arthritis in
both hands but it was worse in her right hand. Id.
at 277. With her right hand, she can barely write and can
only turn doorknobs if they are easy. Id. at 277-78.
She cannot open jars, tie two strings, peel potatoes, slice
onions, or hold a cell phone. Id. She uses the
speakerphone on her cell phone because she cannot lean her
head to either side and it hurts to hold her arms up.
Id. at 278.
has depression and anxiety. She does not see a professional
mental-health provider. Id. at 274. Her family-care
doctor prescribes Paxil. Id.
lives with her husband. Id. at 267. He works and
they have insurance. Id. at 268. On an ordinary day,
if Plaintiff takes Amitriptyline and sleeps well, she gets up
around noon or 1:00. Id. at 275. When she wakes up,
it takes her hands forty-five minutes to straighten out.
Id. at 280. During the day, she's up and down
all day. She is only able to sit for fifteen to thirty
minutes and then she has to get up and walk around (leaning
on furniture). Id. at 275, 279. In the summer, she
sits outside and then tries to walk up and down her driveway.
Id. at 275. For four or five months, Plaintiff has
fallen three or four times a week. Id. at 280. She
sometimes uses a cane (although it was not prescribed).
2013 and 2015, Plaintiff did not cook very often.
Id. at 274. Her daughter came over every evening.
Id. Her husband also cooks. Id. at 281. If
no one is there, she eats frozen meals. Id. Her
daughter-in-law does her laundry. Id. at 275. She
can lift a gallon of milk with her left hand but not her
right. Id. at 279-80. She is not even able to hold a
coffee cup in the morning with her right hand. Id.
at 280. Plaintiff does not take showers because she once
passed out in the shower. Id. at 276. She takes
baths and her daughter or husband have to help her get out of
the tub. Id. She stays in her pajamas all day.
Id. Plaintiff's impairments have had a
significant impact on her life: “I can't …
even enjoy life. I can't enjoy my grandkids. I don't
go to Chuck E. Cheese with them. I can't go outside and
play ball like I used to with them. Now if they come to my
house, they're taking care of Mawmaw.” Id.
Cliff Fawcett, CNP
Fawcett completed a physical medical source statement in
December 2013. He diagnosed depression, fibromyalgia, and
osteoarthritis. Id. at 666. He indicated
Plaintiff's symptoms include fatigue and
pain-specifically, she experiences daily “all over
achiness, ” pain in her right hip and knee, and pain in
her hand and fingers (which is worse in the mornings).
Id. Nurse Fawcett opined that her depression
contributes to the severity of her symptoms and functional
limitations. Id. at 667. Her pain and other symptoms
would constantly interfere with her attention and
concentration needed to perform simple work tasks.
Id. She is capable of tolerating low-stress jobs.
Id. He estimated that she can walk for two blocks
without rest or severe pain. She can sit for five minutes at
one time for a total of less than two hours and stand between
five and ten minutes for a total of less than two hours.
Id. at 667-68. Nurse Fawcett opined that Plaintiff
would need to take unscheduled breaks every ten to fifteen
minutes. Id. at 668. Further, she needs to walk
every ten minutes for between three and five minutes.
Id. She can lift and carry less than ten pounds
occasionally and ten pounds rarely. Id. She can
rarely look up, turn her head to the right or left, hold her
head in a static position, twist, stoop, crouch/squat, and
climb stairs. Id. at 669. She cannot climb ladders.
Id. In an eight-hour working day, Plaintiff can use
her hands to grasp, turn, and twist objects ten percent of
the time, use her fingers for fine manipulations ten percent
of the time, and use her arms for reaching five percent of
the time. Id. She is likely to be absent from work
three or more days per month as a result of her impairments
and treatment. Id.
Aisha Gargom, M.D.
Gargom, Plaintiff's treating physician, completed an
impairment questionnaire in April 2016. She indicated that
Plaintiff's treatment included medication and she was
stable. Id. at 756. When asked for Plaintiff's
signs and symptoms, she checked twenty-nine boxes, including,
for example, decreased energy, mood disturbance, change in
personality, emotional withdrawal or isolation, and sleep
disturbance. Id. Dr. Gargom opined that Plaintiff
had a moderate restriction of activities of daily living;
extreme difficulties in maintaining social functioning;
marked deficiencies of concentration, persistence, or pace;
and four or more repeated episodes of decompensation within a
twelve-month period. Id. at 758. Plaintiff's
impairments and treatment would cause her to miss about two
or more days of work per month. Id. at 759.
December 2016, Dr. Gargom completed a fibromyalgia medical
source statement. She indicated that Plaintiff meets the
American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia.
Id. at 873. In addition to fibromyalgia, she
diagnosed major depression, anxiety, and migraine headaches.
Id. Plaintiff's symptoms include multiple tender
points, nonrestorative sleep, chronic fatigue, morning
stiffness, frequent and severe headaches, numbness and
tingling, Sicca symptoms, anxiety, panic attacks, depression.
Id. at 874. She noted that Plaintiff has constant
pain in her shoulders, thoracic spine, and lumbosacral spine.
Id. Her pain and other symptoms would constantly
interfere with her attention and concentration to perform
simple work tasks. Id. at 875. She is incapable of
even low-stress jobs. Id. Plaintiff can sit for five
minutes at one time, stand for five minutes at one time, and
must walk every five minutes for a total of two minutes.
Id. at 875-76. She can never carry or lift any
weight. Id. at 876. She can rarely twist, stoop,
crouch, climb ...