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Coleman v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 30, 2015

DEMETURIS COLEMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant

For Demeturis Coleman, Plaintiff: Richard J. Doud, Davidson Breen & Doud, P.C., Saginaw, MI.

For Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant: Andrew J. Lievense, U.S. Attorney's Office, Detroit, MI; Russell Cohen, Social Security Administration, Chicago, IL.

Michael Hluchaniuk, United States Magistrate Judge. Avern Cohn, United States District Judge.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Dkt. 9, 12)

Michael Hluchaniuk, United States Magistrate Judge

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

A. Proceedings in this Court

On November 13, 2013, plaintiff filed the instant suit seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's unfavorable decision disallowing benefits. (Dkt. 1). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 72.1(b)(3), this matter was referred to the undersigned for the purpose of reviewing the Commissioner's decision denying plaintiff's claim for supplemental security income benefits. (Dkt. 3). This matter is before the Court on cross-motions for summary judgment. (Dkt. 9, 12).

B. Administrative Proceedings

Plaintiff filed the instant claim on June 28, 2007, alleging disability beginning January 1, 2005. (Dkt. 7-2, Pg ID 50). Plaintiff's claims were initially disapproved by the Commissioner on September 11, 2007. (Dkt. 7-2, Pg ID 50). Plaintiff requested a hearing and on October 20, 2007, plaintiff appeared, with counsel, before Administrative Law Judge (" ALJ") Elliott Bunce who considered the case de novo. (Dkt. 7-2, Pg ID 50-58). In a decision dated November 6, 2009, the ALJ found that plaintiff was not disabled. Id. Plaintiff requested a review of this decision, and the ALJ's decision became the final decision of the Commissioner when the Appeals Council, on March 22, 2013, denied plaintiff's request for review. (Dkt. 16-2, Pg ID 48-50); Wilson v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 378 F.3d 541, 543-44 (6th Cir. 2004).

For the reasons set forth below, the undersigned RECOMMENDS that plaintiff's motion for summary judgment be DENIED, that defendant's motion for summary judgment be GRANTED, and that the findings of the Commissioner be AFFIRMED.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

A. ALJ Findings

Plaintiff was born in 1989 and was 18 years of age on the date that the application was filed. (Dkt. 7-2, Pg ID 57). Plaintiff had no past relevant work. Id. The ALJ applied the five-step disability analysis to plaintiff's claim and found at step one that plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the application date. (Dkt. 7-2, Pg ID 52). At step two, the ALJ found that plaintiff's seizure disorder and obesity were " severe" within the meaning of the second sequential step. (Dkt. 7-2, Pg ID 52). At step three, the ALJ found no evidence that plaintiff's combination of impairments met or equaled one of the listings in the regulations. (Dkt. 7-2, Pg ID 53).

The ALJ determined that plaintiff had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform light work with the following limitations:

The claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform work that does not require: exertion above the light level (20 CFR 416.967(b)); or exposure to hazards, such ...

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