United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Honorable Linda V. Parker
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT [15, 20]
R. GRAND United States Magistrate Judge
Charles Amennuno (“Amennuno”) brings this action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), challenging the 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 (Docs. #15, 20), which
have been referred to this Court for a Report and
Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B).
reasons set forth below, the Court finds that substantial
evidence supports the Administrative Law Judge's
(“ALJ”) conclusion that Amennuno is not disabled
under the Act. Accordingly, the Court recommends that the
Commissioner's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. #20) be
GRANTED, Amennuno's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc.
#15) be DENIED, and that, pursuant to sentence four of 42
U.S.C. § 405(g), the ALJ's decision be AFFIRMED.
March 27, 2014, Amennuno filed an application for DIB,
alleging disability as of November 12, 2011. (Tr. 164-67).
This application was denied initially on April 25, 2014. (Tr.
105-09). Amennuno filed a timely request for an
administrative hearing, which was held on July 16, 2015,
before ALJ David Neumann. (Tr. 29-71). Amennuno, who was
represented by attorney Elizabeth Blount, testified at the
hearing, as did vocational expert Harry Cynowa.
(Id.). On January 22, 2016, the ALJ issued a written
decision finding that Amennuno is not disabled under the Act.
(Tr. 15-24). On February 3, 2017, the Appeals Council denied
review. (Tr. 1-5). Amennuno timely filed for judicial review
of the final decision on March 23, 2017. (Doc. #1).
Framework for Disability Determinations
the Act, DIB are 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. § 423(d)(1)(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
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
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 ...