Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nagy v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

November 8, 2016

WILLIAM DAVID NAGY, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          David M. Lawson

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [11, 13]

          DAVID R. GRAND United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff William David Nagy (“Nagy”) brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §405(g), challenging a final decision of Defendant Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) denying his application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under the Social Security Act (the “Act”). Both parties have filed summary judgment motions [11, 13], which have been referred to this Court for a Report and Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(B).

         I. RECOMMENDATION

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that the Administrative Law Judge's (“ALJ”) conclusion that Nagy is not disabled under the Act is not supported by substantial evidence. Accordingly, the Court RECOMMENDS that the Commissioner's Motion for Summary Judgment [13] be DENIED, Nagy's Motion for Summary Judgment [11] be GRANTED IN PART to the extent it seeks remand and DENIED IN PART to the extent it seeks an award of benefits, and that, pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. §405(g), this case be REMANDED to the ALJ for further proceedings consistent with this Report and Recommendation.

         II. REPORT

         A. Procedural History

         On March 9, 2011, Nagy filed an application for DIB, alleging a disability onset date of December 25, 2010. (Tr. 202-03). This application was denied initially on July 21, 2011. (Tr. 101-04). Nagy filed a timely request for an administrative hearing, which was held on April 2, 2012, before ALJ Oksana Xenos. (Tr. 50-67). On April 17, 2012, ALJ Xenos issued a written decision denying that application. (Tr. 83-91). On August 27, 2013, the Appeals Council issued an order remanding the case to the ALJ with various instructions. (Tr. 97-99). ALJ Xenos held a second hearing on February 24, 2014 (Tr. 28-49), and issued a second written decision, on March 14, 2014, again denying Nagy's application for DIB (Tr. 13-22). On December 31, 2015, the Appeals Council denied review. (Tr. 1-5). Nagy timely filed for judicial review of the final decision on February 23, 2016. (Doc. #1).

         B. Framework for Disability Determinations

         Under the Act, DIB is available only for those who have a “disability.” See Colvin v. Barnhart, 475 F.3d 727, 730 (6th Cir. 2007). The Act defines “disability” as the:

inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

42 U.S.C. §1382c(a)(3)(A). The Commissioner's regulations provide that a disability is to be determined through the application of a five-step sequential analysis:

Step One: If the claimant is currently engaged in substantial gainful activity, benefits are denied without further analysis.
Step Two: If the claimant does not have a severe impairment or combination of impairments that “significantly limits . . . physical or mental ability to do basic work activities, ” benefits are denied without further analysis.
Step Three: If the claimant is not performing substantial gainful activity, has a severe impairment that is expected to last for at least twelve months, and the severe impairment meets or equals one of the impairments listed in the regulations, the claimant is conclusively presumed to be disabled regardless of age, education, or work experience.
Step Four: If the claimant is able to perform his or her past relevant work, benefits are denied without further analysis.
Step Five: Even if the claimant is unable to perform his or her past relevant work, if other work exists in the national economy that the claimant can perform, in view of his or her age, education, and work experience, benefits are denied.

Scheuneman v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 2011 WL 6937331, at *7 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 6, 2011) (citing 20 C.F.R. §§404.1520, 416.920); see also Heston v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 245 F.3d 528, 534 (6th Cir. 2001). “The burden of proof is on the claimant throughout the first four steps . . . . If the analysis reaches the fifth step without a finding that claimant is not disabled, the burden transfers to the [defendant].” Preslar v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 14 F.3d 1107, 1110 (6th Cir. 1994).

         C. Background

         1. Nagy's Reports and Testimony

          In a disability report, Nagy, who was born in 1967, indicated that he is 5'7” tall and weighs 233 pounds. (Tr. 232, 257). He lives in a house with his wife and two daughters. (Tr. 32, 54, 241). He completed the tenth grade but had no further education. (Tr. 54, 233). Previously, he worked as a kiln operator for more than twenty years, even after having fusion surgery on his back in 2009. (Tr. 61, 233). He stopped working on December 25, 2010, however, when he slipped and fell at home and reinjured his back. (Tr. 61, 232).

         Nagy alleges disability as a result of back and hip pain, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and depression. (Tr. 232). In a function report, he indicated that the pain in his back and hip is so bad that he can hardly walk and has difficulty bending and picking up objects. (Tr. 241). At the time of the 2012 hearing, he had been using a cane for approximately eighteen months.[1] (Tr. 54). At the 2014 hearing, Nagy, who was still using a cane, testified that he cannot lift, twist, push or pull, or climb steps. (Tr. 33-34). He testified that he had a spinal stimulator implanted in 2012, saying he uses it “24/7.” (Tr. 38-39). He further testified that this device helps with his pain by ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.