United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
C. Smith Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KIMBERLY A. JOLSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Donald Irwin, brings this action under 42 U.S.C. §
405(g) seeking review of a final decision of the Commissioner
of Social Security (“Commissioner”) denying his
application for Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”). For the reasons set forth below, it is
RECOMMENDED that Plaintiff's Statement
of Errors (Doc. 10) be OVERRULED, and that
judgment be entered in favor of Defendant.
filed his application for DIB on December 14, 2015, alleging
that he was disabled beginning January 9, 2015. (Doc. 7, Tr.
221-24). After his application was denied initially and on
reconsideration, the Administrative Law Judge (the
“ALJ”) held a hearing on May 11, 2018. (Tr.
36-67). On June 13, 2018, the ALJ issued a decision denying
Plaintiff's application for benefits. (Tr. 16-27). The
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review,
making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the
Commissioner. (Tr. 1-6).
filed the instant case seeking a review of the
Commissioner's decision on December 10, 2018 (Doc. 1),
and the Commissioner filed the administrative record on March
1, 2019 (Doc. 7). Plaintiff filed his Statement of Errors
(Doc. 10), and Defendant filed an Opposition (Doc. 12), and
no reply was filed. Thus, this matter is now ripe for
the ALJ found that Plaintiff meets the insured status through
December 31, 2020, and had not engaged in substantial gainful
employment since January 9, 2015, the alleged onset date.
(Tr. 18). The ALJ determined that Plaintiff suffered from the
following severe impairments: diabetes mellitus; peripheral
neuropathy; rheumatoid arthritis; mild osteoarthritis of the
fingers, bilaterally; degenerative disc disease; autoimmune
blistering disorder (pemphigus foliaceus); asthma; bladder
impairment; venous insufficiency and obesity. (Id.).
The ALJ, however, found that none of Plaintiff's
impairments, either singly or in combination, met or
medically equaled a listed impairment. (Tr. 19).
[T]he claimant has the residual functional capacity to
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except
occasional foot controls, bilaterally; frequent balancing and
stooping; occasional crawling, crouching, kneeling and
climbing ramps and stairs, but no ladders, ropes or
scaffolds; frequent handling and fingering with the upper
extremities; frequent exposure to extreme heat and cold,
wetness, humidity and irritants such as fumes, odors, dust
and gases; avoid use of moving or hazardous or heavy
machinery and exposure to unprotected heights; and work
allowed off-task seven percent of the day.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court's review “is limited to determining whether
the Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial
evidence and was made pursuant to proper legal
standards.” Winn v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec.,
615 Fed.Appx. 315, 320 (6th Cir. 2015); see 42
U.S.C. § 405(g). “[S]ubstantial evidence is
defined as ‘more than a scintilla of evidence but less
than a preponderance; it is such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.'” Rogers v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 486 F.3d 234, 241 (6th Cir. 2007) (quoting
Cutlip v. Sec'y of Health & Human
Servs., 25 F.3d 284, 286 (6th Cir. 1994)). The
Commissioner's findings of fact must also be based upon
the record as a whole. Harris v. Heckler, 756 F.2d
431, 435 (6th Cir. 1985). To this end, the Court must
“take into account whatever in the record fairly
detracts from [the] weight” of the Commissioner's
decision. Rhodes v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., No.
2:13-cv-1147, 2015 WL 4881574, at *2 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 17,
has raised one assignment of error to the Court: That the
Commissioner “failed to properly address [his]
documented venous insufficiency to determine the impact of
that impairment on his ability to perform work
activities.” (Doc. 10). Because that failure was
“outcome-determinative, ” Plaintiff argues, this
case should be remanded. (Id.) In support of his
claim, Plaintiff asserts that the ALJ improperly evaluated
the opinions of Ellen Offut, MD, and Jeffrey Haggenjos, DO,
who was Plaintiff's treating physician. More generally,
Plaintiff appears to argue that because his venous
insufficiency was determined to be “severe, ”
greater limitations in the RFC were required so substantial
evidence does not support the ALJ's decision.