United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
District Judge Walter H. Rice
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
L. OVINGTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Edward Mclain brings this case challenging the Social
Security Administration's denial of his application for
period of disability and Disability Insurance Benefits. He
applied for benefits on October 4, 2015, asserting that he
could no longer work a substantial paid job. After a hearing,
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Elizabeth A. Motta concluded
that he was not eligible for benefits because he is not under
a “disability” as defined in the Social Security
case is before the Court upon Plaintiff's Statement of
Errors (Doc. #7), the Commissioner's Memorandum in
Opposition (Doc. #8), Plaintiff's Reply (Doc. #9), and
the administrative record (Doc. #6).
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 he has been under a “disability”
since September 18, 2015. He was thirty-four years old at
that time and was therefore considered a “younger
person” under Social Security Regulations. See
20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c). He has at least a high school
education. See Id. § 404.1564(b)(4).
testified at the hearing before ALJ Motta that his blood
disorder- hypogammaglobinemia-affects his ability to work.
(Doc. #6, PageID #92). He provided a cogent
explanation of the disorder:
It affects about 1 in 25, 000 people and … there's
two different types. There's specific and non-specific. I
have non-specific which means that all of my immunoglobulins
are impacted by the disease. Immunoglobulins are a type of
blood cell that fights off infections. [W]hen I have blood
work done, mine do not register so it's general
hypogammaglobulinemia. It causes frequent infections mostly
respiratory and bronchial infections as well as digestive
tract infections and stomach infections. I spend quite a
portion of my life being incredibly ill to the point where I
can't even get out of bed where I have to … have
my food prepared and brought to me if I could eat. I
can't drive when … I'm very ill so I rely very
heavily on my mother as a caregiver at this time.
Id. at 92-93.
over three years, Plaintiff has had gamma-globulin infusion
therapy every four weeks. Id. at 93.
“Essentially what they do is over a four-hour to
five-hour period, they infuse my blood with gamma globulins
and what that does is that helps create an artificial immune
system in place of the immunoglobulins that my body would
normally produce to help fight off infections.”
Id. After a transfusion, he is usually nauseated for
the next twenty-four hours. Id. at 100. He has
anti-nausea medicine that sometimes helps. Id. If it
is really bad during the infusion, they will give him an
anti-nausea injection. Id. He also gets a headache
and his arm hurts for the rest of the day. Id.
the infusions help, Plaintiff still gets infections
“quite often”-every four to six weeks.
Id. at 93, 105. They are sometimes gastrointestinal
infections but are more often respiratory-related infections
such as acute bronchitis or a sinus, ear, or
upper-respiratory infection. Id. at 105. When he has
a respiratory-related infection, he generally has a difficult
time breathing. Id. He also has a hard time focusing
because he is so sick. Id. Most of the time, he is
in bed. Id. “[A] lot of times I can't get
out of bed. If I do attempt to get out of bed, … the
room will kind of spin.” Id.
has asthma and uses inhalers. Id. at 94. At the time
of the hearing, he still smoked but was down to three or four
cigarettes a day. Id. at 95. He has some other
health problems for which he takes medication, including
simvastatin for high cholesterol and lisinopril for high
blood pressure. Id. He also takes medication to help
digest food. Id. at 94.
has a history of seizures. He takes medication, Keppra.
Id. at 95. His neurologist and psychiatrist
diagnosed stress seizures. Id. at 102. He described
what sort of events raise his stress to that level:
[T]he most recent experience was on June 5 when my mother
quit her job over the phone and told me that she was moving
to Tennessee. She was originally going to move at the end of
this month which would have left me with six months of a
lease to pay with no job and no income to support myself. I
had three seizures back to back. They lasted maybe 45 seconds
to a minute/minute and a half. During the course of one of
the seizures, a bookcase did fall over on me. All the books
fell on me. Everything else in the bookcase fell on me.
Really, the frequency of the seizures depends on how stressed
I get. I keep track as per instructions by my neurologist. I
keep a seizure log to show when I have the seizures, what
happened during the seizure, whether or not I went to the
hospital or the ER or for how long afterwards I was
struggles with depression and anxiety. He has panic attacks
“very frequently.” Id. at 100. They last
anywhere from ten to forty-five minutes. Id. at 101.
When asked what they feel like, Plaintiff responded,
“How I feel right now. I sweat, I get real bad dry
mouth, … I can't communicate effectively,
sometimes I will feel like … I can't breathe and
will have to either breathe into a bag or put my head between
my knees and try to breathe that way, I'm unable to focus
on anything at all.” Id. at 100-01.
Plaintiff has crying spells one or two times a week.
Id. at 101. They always last at least twenty to
thirty minutes and sometimes more. Id. He has a hard
time getting out of bed ten to fifteen days a month.
began treatment with his psychiatrist, Dr. Barclay, and his
therapist, Christine Farens, in 2012. Id. at 107.
Dr. Barclay has spent five years fine-tuning Plaintiff's
medications. Id. at 94. Plaintiff takes two
medications for depression, two for anxiety, and one for
sleeping. Id. The medications “keep things at
bay.” Id. at 95. However, when he has high
anxiety, his medications do not help. Id. Likewise,
there are times he is depressed or cannot sleep. Id.
For example, there are some days when he is awake for
twenty-four hours ruminating or feeling depressed and
anxious. Id. After he spends that much time awake,
if the issue causing anxiety is resolved, he is able to get
some sleep. Id. at 98-99. Unfortunately, he still
cannot sleep for eight hours at one time. Id. at 99.
Instead, he sleeps for about an hour, gets up for a few
hours, and then goes back to sleep for another hour.
Id. If the issue is not resolved, he is not able to
sleep during the day and, instead, he watches TV, chain
smokes, and sometimes paces. Id. When he has not
slept, he has a hard time concentrating and forming cohesive
lives in an apartment with his mother. Id. at 86-87.
However, Plaintiff's mother planned to move to Tennessee
in August 2017. Id. at 93. Plaintiff drives about
once a week. Id. at 87. He goes to the grocery store
once a month. Id. at 97. Plaintiff's only
contact with his friends is through Facebook. Id. at
98. If he is not doing schoolwork and is not sick, he watches
completed his bachelor's degree and began an online
master's program in April 2015. Id. at 87. He
anticipated graduating in August 2017. Id. at 87-88.
It took him two and a half years to complete the program
because he was only able to take one class per semester.
Id. He estimated that, on average, he spent six to
eight hours per week on his online studies. Id. at
95-96. He had a disability accommodation that allowed him
150-percent extra time for tests and an additional 24 hours
to turn in assignments. Id. at 106. His professors
usually allowed him additional time-up to a full week to turn
in late assignments. Id.
past, Plaintiff worked as a manager at Journey Shoes, Pacific
Sunwear, and Family Video and as an assistant manager at
Super Pets. Id. at 89. He also worked at the call
center for Victoria Secret direct catalog and as a student
cashier at Sinclair Community College. Id. at 89-90.
He worked in a call center for GMB Servicing
Company/Synchrony Financial for three and a half years.
Id. at 90-91. Plaintiff resigned in lieu of being
fired due to attendance issues. Id. at 91. He
attempted to work part-time at JP Morgan Chase but had the
same attendance issues and resigned. Id.
was looking for jobs but stopped in February 2017 “when
[he] realized … there was just no possible way for
[him] to hold a job. No. one was willing to accommodate the
time that [he] needed to have off.” Id. at 96.