United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
DAVID P. McKINNEY, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.
H. Rice, District Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
L. Ovington, United States Magistrate Judge.
Social Security Administration provides Disability Insurance
Benefits and Supplemental Security Income to individuals who
are under a disability, among other eligibility requirements.
A “disability” in this context refers to
“any medically determinable physical or mental
impairment” that precludes an applicant from engaging
in “substantial gainful activity.” 42 U.S.C.
§§ 423(d)(1)(A), 1382c(a)(3)(A); see Bowen v.
City of New York, 476 U.S. 467, 469-70 (1986).
himself unable to work due to various health problems,
Plaintiff David P. McKinney applied for Disability Insurance
Benefits and Supplemental Security Income. He asserted that
starting on November 30, 2014, and continuing thereafter, he
had been under a disability. Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
Mark Hockensmith disagreed. He concluded that Plaintiff was
not under a disability and denied Plaintiff's
applications. (Doc. #7, PageID #s 50-60).
brings the present case contending (in part) that ALJ
Hockensmith erred when evaluating the medical source opinions
and that substantial evidence fails to support ALJ
Hockensmith's assessment of Plaintiff's mental
residual functional capacity. Plaintiff seeks a remand of
this case for payment of benefits or, alternatively, for
further proceedings. The Commissioner finds no error in the
ALJ's decision and asks the Court to affirm rather than
was fifty years old on his asserted disability onset date. He
therefore met the Social Security Administration's
definition of an “individual approaching advanced
age.” 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1563(d),
416.963(d). He has a limited education and worked in
the past as a cemetery worker and a production assembler.
a hearing before ALJ Hockensmith, Plaintiff testified that he
has difficulty reading and took an oral test to get his
driver's license. He could not read the written
instructions he would get each day when working at the
cemetery. He stopped working at this job because he had could
not breath during the winter. He cannot breath in extreme
cold or extreme heat.
described his health as “going downhill for a long
time.” (Doc. #7, PageID #78). When he walks a
short distance or up a flight of stairs, he needs to sit
down. He can “mow the lawn some” using a push
mower, but his lawn is not that big. Id. at 80. It
takes him twice as long to mow the entire yard (thirty
minutes) than it used to (fifteen minutes). He uses a
prescription inhaler once in the morning and once at night
to. And he keeps it with him all the time presumably for
sudden breathing problems. Id. at 81. His attorney
during the ALJ's hearing described this as a
“rescue inhaler.” Id. at 86. He uses
this once or twice a week. Id.
testified that he has low-back pain, extending to his knee
and right hip. Id. at 81, 85. He feels tingling in
his left knee cap. Id. at 85. These problems limit
his ability to walk. He can sit for forty-five minutes before
needing to stand. Id. at 81. He can stand for about
thirty minutes. Id. at 84. He consequently
alternates between sitting and standing. He can lift ten
pounds but cannot carry it far. Id. at 81 Activities
around the house include doing the dishes and taking out the
garbage. Yet this requires him to stand too long and
“kind of gets [his] back.” Id. at 82. He
explained, “They don't make things high enough for
a guy like me.” Id. He is six feet three and a
half inches tall. Id. at 74.
has difficulty getting along with others. He goes to the
grocery store but does not have the patience for it. He
revealed, “I'd much rather stay in the truck, and
wait on my wife to get me stuff. I just ain't got
patience for the store. I'm just not able….”
Id. at 83. He described himself as just not a
friendly type of person. Id. at 84. He provided a
telling example: “You know, people can ask you one
thing, and you can tell them, and they just look at you like
you're stupid. Then you're arguing with them.
That's why I'm an unfriendly person.”
Id. at 84.
also has memory and concentration problems. He “drifts
off” when he watches TV shows or movies. Id.
at 86-87. He typically cannot complete small chores or
projects. He ends up walking away from them and starting
over. Three or four times a week, Plaintiff has suicidal
thoughts. He said, “I just don't want to be
here.” Id. at 87.
2015, clinical psychologist George O. Schulz, Ph.D. evaluated
Plaintiff at the request of the Ohio Division of Disability
Determination. Id. at 360-69. Dr. Schulz found that
Plaintiff's long-term memory was within the borderline to
low-average range. His general fund of knowledge and his
ability to abstract were in the low-average range.
Id. at 367. Dr. Schulz did not administer an IQ test
or any psychological testing. He diagnosed Plaintiff with
borderline intellectual functioning, explaining that
Plaintiff's “presentation during the interview
supported intellectual functioning in the borderline
range.” Id. at 368. As to Plaintiff's
ability to work with attention, concentration, and
maintaining persistence and pace to perform simple and
multi-step task, Dr. Schulz thought that “given
[Plaintiff's] performance today on formal mental
evaluation tasks he is likely to experience some objective
concerns by employers.” Id. Dr. Schulz ...