United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Amanda D. Walter, Plaintiff,
Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
PHILLIP J. GREEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a social security action brought under 42 U.S.C. §
1383(c)(3), seeking review of a final decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security finding that plaintiff was
not entitled to supplemental security income (SSI) benefits.
On October 25, 2013, plaintiff filed her application for SSI
benefits. Plaintiff alleged a March 22, 2011, onset of
disability. (ECF No. 9-5, PageID.191). Plaintiff's claim
was denied on initial review. (ECF No. 9-4, PageID.143-46).
On November 4, 2015, she received a hearing before an ALJ.
(ECF No. 9-2, PageID.73-107). On December 7, 2015, the ALJ
issued his decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled.
(Op., ECF No. 9-2, PageID.57-67). On September 7, 2017, the
Appeals Council denied review (ECF No. 9-2, PageID.29-32),
and the ALJ's decision became the Commissioner's
timely filed a complaint seeking judicial review of the
Commissioner's decision. Plaintiff states that the
Commissioner's decision should be overturned on the
I. The ALJ incorrectly adopted the previous RFC determination
from an earlier decision and misapplied Social Security
Acquiescence Rulings (SSR) 98-4(6) and 98-3(6) and the
precedent set forth in [Drummond] v. Commissioner of
Social Security, 126 F.3[d] 837 (6th Cir. 1997); and
Dennard v. Secretary of HHS, 907 F.2d 598 (6th Cir.
1990) as there was a clear change in the condition and
clinical diagnosis in this case. The decision further fails
to provide rationale for the previous adopted RFC.
II. The ALJ failed to comply with the “treating
physician rule” and improperly discounted the opinions
of her treating physicians and failed to provide specific
valid reasons as to why the treating physicians' opinions
should not be afforded controlling weight in violation of
Wilson v. Commissioner, 378 F.3d  (6th Cir.
2004). Further the decision did not apply the same standards
to non-treating and record reviewer opinions which were
afforded greater weight of evidence without similar scrutiny?
III. The ALJ failed to properly evaluate the psychiatric
conditions by rejecting and/or effectively minimalize the
conditions on the basis that there was no objective evidence
(i.e. lack of documented brain damage in diagnostic testing).
The Decision failed to properly account for the longstanding
psychiatric and functional limitations in formulating the
residual functional capacity which he adopted from an earlier
IV. The Decision failed to discuss or consider the side
effects from the medications and failed to properly consider
the side effects in the residual functional capacity
formulation and the resulting decision is not supported by
(Plf. Brief at 7-8, ECF No. 14, PageID.761-62).
presents no developed argument for the above-listed issues.
Issues adverted to in a perfunctory manner, unaccompanied by
some effort at developed argumentation are deemed waived.
See Clemente v. Vaslo, 679 F.3d 482, 497 (6th Cir.
2012); see also United States v. Ahmed, No. 17-4046,
__ Fed.Appx. __, 2018 WL 2357422 at * 3 n.1 (6th Cir. May 24,
2018) (It is “not the job of an appellate court to
make arguments for [a party].”) (citation and
quotation omitted); McPherson v. Kelsey, 125 F.3d
989, 995-96 (6th Cir. 1997) (“It is not sufficient for
a party to mention a possible argument in the most skeletal
way, leaving the court to... put flesh on its bones.”)
(quotation and citation omitted)).
assuming that the issues had not been waived, they would not
provide a basis for disturbing the Commissioner's
decision. The ALJ found that plaintiff had not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since October 25, 2013, the
application date. (Op. at 3, ECF No. 9-2, PageID.59).
Plaintiff had the following severe impairments:
“affective disorders, anxiety disorders, personality
disorders, spine disorders, and migraine headaches.”
(Id.). Plaintiff did not have an impairment or
combination of impairments that met or equaled the
requirements of a listing impairment. (Id. at 5,
PageID.61). The ALJ found that plaintiff retained the
residual functional capacity (RFC) for a limited range of
light work. (Id. at 6, PageID.62). The ALJ found
that plaintiff's testimony regarding her subjective
limitations was not fully credible. (Id. at 6-10,
PageID.62-66). Plaintiff has no past relevant work.
(Id. at 10, PageID.66).
considered the testimony of a vocational expert (VE). In
response to a hypothetical question regarding a person of
plaintiff's age with her RFC, education, and work
experience, the VE testified that there were approximately
178, 000 jobs that exist in the national economy that
hypothetical person would be capable of performing. (ECF No.
9-2, PageID.102-03). The ALJ found that this constituted a
significant number of jobs and found that plaintiff was not
disabled. (Op. at 10-11, PageID.66-67).
Court finds that the ALJ's findings are supported by
substantial evidence and that he correctly applied the law.
See Elam ex rel. Golay v. Commissioner, 348 F.3d
124, 125 (6th Cir. 2003); Buxton v. Halter, 246 F.3d
762, 772-73 (6th Cir. 2001).
reasons set forth herein, the Commissioner's ...