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.

Wilmore v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

February 27, 2017

LOUIS MILTON WILMORE JR., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER (1) OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTION (ECF #17) TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION, (2) ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AS THE OPINION OF THE COURT, (3) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF #13), AND (4) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF #15)

          MATTHEW F. LEITMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         In this action, Plaintiff Louis Milton Wilmore, Jr. (“Wilmore”) alleges that the Social Security Administration (the “SSA”) wrongly denied his application for Social Security disability benefits. After the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, the assigned Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation (the “R&R”) in which he recommends that the Court (1) grant summary judgment in favor of the Defendant, the Commissioner of Social Security (the “Commissioner”), and (2) deny Wilmore's motion for summary judgment. (See ECF #16.) Wilmore filed a timely objection to the R&R (the “Objection”). (See ECF #17.) The Court has conducted a de novo review of the portions of the R&R to which Wilmore has objected. For the reasons stated below, the Court OVERRULES the Objection, ADOPTS AS THE OPINION OF THE COURT the well-reasoned R&R, GRANTS the Commissioner's motion for summary judgment, and DENIES Wilmore's motion for summary judgment.

         I

         A

         On August 27, 2009, Wilmore filed an application for Social Security disability insurance benefits (the “Application”).[1] (See Admin. R., ECF #9-5 at 2-19, Pg. ID 139-56.) In the Application, Wilmore claimed that he had been disabled since April 1, 2009, due to diabetes, high blood pressure, post-traumatic stress-disorder, memory loss, gross impairment of thought processes, and incontinence. (See Admin. R., ECF #9-6 at 5, Pg. ID 161.) The SSA denied the Application because it found that Wilmore was not disabled. (See Admin. R., ECF #9-4 at 5, Pg. ID 98.)

         Wilmore requested and received a hearing before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”). On April 28, 2011, ALJ Mary Ann Poulose (“ALJ Poulose”) issued a decision affirming the SSA's denial of benefits. (See Admin. R., ECF #9-2 at 14-20, Pg. ID 50-56.) After the SSA Appeal Council denied Wilmore's request for review, he appealed in this Court. On January 29, 2014, Judge Patrick J. Duggan held that ALJ Poulose erred because she did not consider “an April 2010 notation in [Wilmore's] medical records from the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) indicating that [he] has an eighty (80) percent service-connected disability.” Wilmore v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 2014 WL 320072, at *3 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 29, 2014). Judge Duggan remanded the case to the Commissioner “for further consideration of the evidence” (the “Remand Order”). Id. at *4.

         After receiving the Remand Order, the SSA Appeals Council issued an order to further remand the case to an ALJ for “proceedings consistent with the order of the [C]ourt” (the “Appeals Council Remand Order”). (Admin. R., ECF #9-9 at 32, Pg. ID 496.) The case was reassigned to ALJ Timothy Christensen (“ALJ Christensen”). In his March 25, 2015 written decision (the “ALJ's Decision”), ALJ Christensen wrote:

After careful review and evaluation of the Veteran's Administration's (VA) disability findings as of February 28, 2009 and consideration of a notation in VA medical records in April 2010 made by an optometrist indicating that the claimant had an eighty (80) percent service connected disability, [I] conclude[] that the findings of ALJ Poulose remain appropriate and adopt[] the decision for the reasons explained herein.

(ALJ's Decision, ECF #9-8 at 32, Pg. ID 391.) ALJ Christensen went on to apply the SSA's required five-step sequential analysis to determine whether Wilmore was disabled. The five steps are as follows:

Step One: Has claimant engaged in substantial gainful activity? If not, move to Step Two.
Step Two: Does claimant suffer from one or more severe impairments? If so, move to Step Three.
Step Three: Does claimant's impairments or combination of impairments meet or medically equal the criteria of an impairment listed in the Commissioner's Listing of Impairments, 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. If so, claimant is disabled. If not, move to Step Four.
Step Four: Considering claimant's residual functional capacity, can the claimant perform his or her past relevant work. If not, move to Step Five. If so, claimant is not disabled.
Step Five: Considering claimant's age, education, past work experience, and residual functional capacity, can the claimant perform other work available in the national economy. If not, claimant is disabled.

See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520.

         ALJ Christensen made the following findings at the first three steps of his analysis:

Step One: “[Wilmore] did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period from his alleged onset date of April 1, 2009 through his date last insured of July 31, 2011.”
Step Two: “[Wilmore] had the following severe impairments: high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus.”
Step Three: “Through the date last insured, [Wilmore] did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part ...

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.