United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
H. Rice District Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
L. Ovington United States Magistrate Judge.
Christina May is a longtime sufferer of pain-including back
and neck pain-and other significant health problems. She
brings this case challenging the Social Security
Administration's denial of her applications for
Disability Insurance Income and Supplemental Security Income.
The denial mainly occurred in Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
Gregory G. Kenyon's decision that Plaintiff was not under
a benefits-qualifying disability.
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 decision.
asserts that she has been under a disability starting on
February 26, 2015. She was age 39 on that date and is
therefore an “younger person” under Social
Security Regulations. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1563(c),
416.963(c)). Plaintiff completed the eleventh grade in
high school, and her past relevant work was as a janitorial
supervisor, housekeeper, restaurant manager, and dietary aid.
testified during the administrative hearing held by ALJ
Kenyon that she suffers from lumbar degenerative disc disease
at ¶ 5-S1. ALJ Kenyon asked her about her herniated disc
at ¶ 5-A1. Id. at 87. Plaintiff described her
low-back pain as throbbing and constant aching. She estimated
her pain level at 8 on a 0-10 scale (10 equaling the highest
pain level). Plaintiff also has pain in her right leg, and
her right foot goes “numb, like asleep.”
Id. at 88. Her right leg gives out about once a
month. She also has pain in her shoulders, arms, thighs,
hips, and upper chest. She described this pain as
“achy.” Id. at 91. On days when her
legs, neck, and back pain flares up, her pain level can reach
10 on the 10-point scale. Id. at 92. Plaintiff
testified about feeling achy from fibromyalgia. She rated her
fibromyalgia pain as 8 on the 10-point scale. Id. at
has neck pain that is sharp, throbbing, and constant.
Id. at 98. She estimated at neck-pain level as 8 on
the 10-point scale. She indicated that she has a bone spur in
her neck, causing her to get headaches. Id. at 99.
estimated that she could lift about 10 pounds and stand or
sit for about 30 minutes. Id. at 96. She cannot walk
on concrete. Id. at 89, 96. She used to be able to
clean the house but could no longer do so-she can't
vacuum or mop. She could ride a bicycle in the past but could
not do so anymore. Id. at 89. She has difficulty
bending at the waist, making it hard for her to pick up
also experiences depression. She has crying spells and
trouble concentrating and remembering names and dates.
Id. at 94. She can “literally have [her] keys
in [her] hands and be looking for them….”
Id. at 92. She gets moody, angry, sad, unhappy, and
she cries. Id. at 94. She is also irritable. She can
sometimes be happy but small things can set her “off in
the wrong way.” Id.
trouble interacting with people and feels very uncomfortable
around others. This causes her to feel “panicky, closed
in.” Id. She explains, ‘I've
actually gotten into arguments with more than one
person.” Id. When asked if she has trouble
going to places where there are other people, she replied,
“I sometimes do… probably about maybe once every
couple of months.” Id. at 95. She has crying
spells about 5 times a month.
is married with 2 older children. Id. at 85. She has
a driver's license. Id. at 86. She sleeps 5-6
hours per night. Id. at 96. She is able to wash and
dress herself. Id. at 89. She can cook but sits near
the stove to watch it. Id. at 97. She spends her
ordinary day watching a lot of television, doing the dishes,
and preparing dinner. When she does the dishes, she needs to
take breaks before finishing.
testified that she is 95 percent deaf in her right ear.
Id. at 101.
“Disability” and The ALJ's Decision
eligible for Disability Insurance Benefits or Supplemental
Security Income a claimant must be under a
“disability” as defined by the Social Security
Act. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 423(a), (d),
1382c(a). The definition of the term “disability”
is essentially the same for both programs. See Bowen v.
City of New York, 476 U.S. 467, 469-70 (1986). Narrowed
to its statutory meaning, a “disability” includes
only physical or mental impairments that are both
“medically determinable” and severe enough to
prevent the applicant from (1) performing ...