United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
H. Rice District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
L. OVINGTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Social Security Administration provides Supplemental Security
Income to individuals with a “disability” (among
other eligibility requirements). Bowen v. City of New
York, 476 U.S. 467, 470 (1986); see 42 U.S.C.
§ 1382(a). A “disability” in this context
means “any medically determinable physical or mental
impairment” that precludes an applicant from performing
a significant paid job (“substantial gainful
activity”). 42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)(A); see
Bowen, 476 U.S. at 469-70.
Alfredo Fuentes has health problems that, at a minimum,
interfere with his ability to perform full-time work. He
protectively filed an application for Supplemental Security
Income in August 2015 asserting that his health problems
constitute a disability and qualified him to receive
Supplemental Security Income. Administrative Law Judge
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Elizabeth A. Motta found that
Plaintiff did not have a disability and denied his
application for benefits.
now challenges ALJ Motta's decision. He argues that the
ALJ unreasonably weighed the opinions of his treating
psychologist Erendira Lopez-Garcia, Psy.D., and another
medical source, Darnel Ladson, D.O.
Commissioner argues that the ALJ reasonably weighed the
opinions of Dr. Lopez-Garcia and Dr. Ladson, and that
substantial evidence supports the ALJ's decision.
Plaintiff and His Testimony
Plaintiff was forty years old on the date he filed his
application for benefits. He was therefore considered a
“younger person” under Social Security
Regulations. See 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c). ALJ
Motta determined that he was unable to communicate in English
and thus fell under the illiteracy Regulation. (Doc. #6,
PageID #77 (citing 20 C.F.R. § 416.964)). His
jobs in the past have included forklift operator and material
Motta held an administrative hearing during which Plaintiff
testified through an interpreter. Plaintiff explained that he
is married and has one child (then age twenty-one) and four
testified that he began having memory problems in 2016 when
he got cancer. He underwent kidney surgery, involving the
removal of a majority of one kidney. His cancer was in
remission at the time of the ALJ's hearing in 2017.
psychiatrist prescribes medication that Plaintiff takes for
depression. Plaintiff also takes medication for high blood
pressure, cholesterol, sleeping, asthma, and migraine
headaches. He testified that the depression medication helped
keep him stable. He has a migraine usually once a week
“but they last two or three days.” (Doc. #6,
PageID #101). When he has a migraine, light bothers
him and he has to be in the dark. He lies down when this
happens. His depression sometimes makes him feel like crying
despite medication. He gets easily frustrated. Id.
daily activities include going outside and walking “a
little bit.” Id. at 102. He does not feel safe
making simple meals. He does not do any chores, grow
vegetables, mow, or rake. He does not use a computer, a
tablet, or the internet. He sometimes looks things up on his
phone but mostly asks his children to help him look things
up. He watches very little TV because he has difficulty
focusing and does not get anything out of it. Id. at
110. Perhaps his sole regular activity is attending church on
he can sometimes go alone to the grocery store, he cannot go
at night because he gets confused at night. He has trouble
sleeping during the night. He wakes up every two hours, and
he sometimes has trouble falling to sleep. He explained,
“With the nerves I stay up a lot during the night
….” Id. at 107. He also has problems
thinking “bad things” at night. Id. at
106. He worries about income and his family. The depression
medication helps him stop thinking at night. He feels
uncomfortable around people-“I'm not safe, ”
he thinks. Id. This causes him to isolate himself.
He will get together with others about once a week.
told the ALJ that he has difficulty completing things he
starts. He testified, “When I start to do something, I
get desperate and then I get anxious or desperate and I
don't finish it.” Id. at 108. He also has
fatigue and low energy. He takes a nap about once a day.