United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
District Judge Walter H. Rice
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
L. OVINGTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
2015, Plaintiff Stephanie George applied for Child Disability
Benefits based on her father's earnings and applied for
Child Disability Benefits and Supplemental Security Income
based on her mother's earnings. Both applications were
denied initially and upon reconsideration. After a hearing,
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Gregory G. Kenyon concluded
that she was not eligible for benefits because she is not
under a “disability” as defined in the Social
Security Act. Plaintiff brings this case challenging the
Social Security Administration's denial of her
applications for benefits.
case is before the Court upon Plaintiff's Statement of
Errors (Doc. #7), the Commissioner's Memorandum in
Opposition (Doc. #9), Plaintiff's Reply (Doc. #11), 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 Kenyon's non-disability decision.
Standard of Review
Social Security Administration provides Supplemental Security
Income to individuals who are under 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). The term
“disability”-as defined by the Social Security
Act-has specialized meaning of limited scope. It encompasses
“any medically determinable physical or mental
impairment” that precludes an applicant from performing
a significant paid job-i.e., “substantial gainful
activity, ” in Social Security lexicon. 42 U.S.C.
§ 1382c(a)(3)(A); see Bowen, 476 U.S. at
review of an ALJ's non-disability decision proceeds along
two lines: “whether the ALJ applied the correct legal
standards and whether the findings of the ALJ are supported
by substantial evidence.” Blakley v. Comm'r of
Soc. Sec., 581 F.3d 399, 406 (6th Cir. 2009); see
Bowen v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 478 F.3d 742, 745-46
(6th Cir. 2007). Review for substantial evidence is not
driven by whether the Court agrees or disagrees with the
ALJ's factual findings or by whether the administrative
record contains evidence contrary to those factual findings.
Gentry v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 741 F.3d 708, 722
(6th Cir. 2014); Rogers v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec.,
486 F.3d 234, 241 (6th Cir. 2007). Instead, the ALJ's
factual findings are upheld if the substantial-evidence
standard is met-that is, “if a ‘reasonable mind
might accept the relevant evidence as adequate to support a
conclusion.'” Blakley, 581 F.3d at 407
(quoting Warner v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 375 F.3d
387, 390 (6th Cir. 2004)). Substantial evidence consists of
“more than a scintilla of evidence but less than a
preponderance . . . .” Rogers, 486 F.3d at 241
(citations and internal quotation marks omitted); see
Gentry, 741 F.3d at 722.
other line of judicial inquiry-reviewing the correctness of
the ALJ's legal criteria-may result in reversal even when
the record contains substantial evidence supporting the
ALJ's factual findings. Rabbers v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 582 F.3d 647, 651 (6th Cir. 2009); see
Bowen, 478 F.3d at 746. “[E]ven if supported by
substantial evidence, ‘a decision of the Commissioner
will not be upheld where the SSA fails to follow its own
regulations and where that error prejudices a claimant on the
merits or deprives the claimant of a substantial
right.'” Rabbers, 582 F.3d at 651 (quoting
in part Bowen, 478 F.3d at 746, and citing
Wilson v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 378 F.3d 541,
546-47 (6th Cir. 2004)).
asserts that she has been under a “disability”
since November 23, 2002. She was thirteen years old at that
time and was therefore considered a “younger
person” under Social Security Regulations. See
20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c). She has a high school education.
See Id. § 416.964(b)(4).
evidence of record is sufficiently summarized in the
ALJ's decision (Doc. #6, PageID #s 40-52,
63-74), Plaintiff's Statement of Errors (Doc. #7), and
the Commissioner's Memorandum in Opposition (Doc. #9).
Rather than repeat these summaries, the pertinent evidence
will be discussed when addressing the parties' arguments.
The ALJ's Decision
noted previously, it fell to ALJ Kenyon to evaluate the
evidence connected to Plaintiff's application for
benefits. He did so by considering each of the five
sequential steps set forth in the Social Security
Regulations. See 20 C.F.R. § 416.920. He
reached the following main conclusions:
Step 1: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful
employment since November 23, 2002.
Step 2: She has (and had prior to attaining age 22) the
severe impairments of a history of tachycardia; obesity;
chronic headaches; depression; and anxiety/post-traumatic
Step 3: She does not (and did not prior to attaining age 22)
have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or
medically equaled the severity of one in the
Commissioner's Listing of ...