United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
JULIE B. MASSIE, 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”). This case is before the Court on
Plaintiff's Statement of Errors (doc. 8), the
Commissioner's memorandum in opposition (doc. 15),
Plaintiff's reply (doc. 16), the administrative record
(doc. 6),  and the record as a whole.
filed for DIB alleging a disability onset date of June 9,
2012. PageID 2884. Plaintiff claims disability as a result of
a number of alleged impairments including, inter
alia, cervical and thoracolumbar degenerative disc
disease with residuals of surgery, Arnold-Chiari
malformation, headaches, should strain, Ehler's-Danlos
Syndrome, depressive disorder, and an anxiety disorder.
an initial denial of her application, Plaintiff received a
hearing before ALJ Emily Ruth Statum on June 19, 2014. PageID
89-109. ALJ Statum issued a written decision on July 24, 2014
finding Plaintiff not disabled. PageID 193-95. Plaintiff
appealed the non-disability finding, and, with consent from
the Commissioner, this Court remanded her claim for further
consideration. PageID 695; Massie v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., No. 3:16-cv-73 (S.D. Ohio Sep. 30, 2016).
remand, Plaintiff received a second administrative hearing on
July 12, 2017 before ALJ Elizabeth A. Motta. PageID 671-96.
ALJ Motta issued a written decision on October 25, 2017
finding Plaintiff not disabled. PageID 620-40. Specifically,
ALJ Motta found at Step Five that, based upon Plaintiff's
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform a
reduced range of light work,  “there are jobs that exist
in significant numbers in the national economy that
[Plaintiff] can perform[.]” PageID 630-40.
the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review, making ALJ Motta's non-disability finding the
final administrative decision of the Commissioner. PageID
50-52. 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 October
25, 2017 non-disability finding by ALJ Motta (hereinafter,
“ALJ”) is now before the Court for review.
Evidence of Record
evidence of record is adequately summarized in the ALJ's
decision (PageID 40-60), Plaintiff's Statement of Errors
(doc. 11), the Commissioner's memorandum in opposition
(doc. 15), and Plaintiff's reply (doc. 16). 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 ...