United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
G. Edmunds Magistrate Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. MAJZOUB UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Susan Rawski seeks judicial review under 42 U.S.C. §
405(g) of Defendant Commissioner of Social Security's
determination that she is not entitled to benefits under the
Social Security Act. (Docket no. 1.) Before the Court are
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (docket no. 14)
and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (docket no.
17). This matter has been referred to the undersigned for
determination of all non-dispositive motions pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and issuance of a Report and
Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and
(C). (Docket no. 4.) Having reviewed the pleadings, the Court
dispenses with a hearing pursuant to Eastern District of
Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f)(2) and issues this Report and
reasons that follow, it is recommended that Plaintiff's
Motion for Summary Judgment (docket no. 14) be
DENIED, that Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment (docket no. 17) be GRANTED,
and that the case be dismissed in its entirety.
November 19, 2014, Plaintiff applied for Disability Insurance
Benefits (“DIB”) and Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”), alleging that she has been disabled
since April 16, 2014. (TR 107.) The Social Security
Administration initially denied Plaintiff's claims on
April 17, 2015. (TR 66.) On August 25, 2016, Plaintiff
appeared with a representative and testified at a hearing
before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Dawn Gruenburg. (TR
24-51.) On September 29, 2016, the ALJ issued an unfavorable
decision on Plaintiff's claims. (TR 10-20.) Plaintiff
requested a review of the ALJ's decision with the Appeals
Council, which was denied on April 18, 2017. (TR 1-3.) On
June 20, 2017, Plaintiff commenced this action for judicial
review, and the parties filed cross motions for summary
judgment, which are currently before the Court. (Docket no.
14; docket no. 17.)
HEARING TESTIMONY AND MEDICAL EVIDENCE
sets forth a brief procedural history of this matter as well
as a short summary of her medical issues. (Docket no. 14, pp.
4-9.) In addition, the ALJ summarized Plaintiff's
testimony and medical record (TR 15-18), and Defendant
provided its own summary of Plaintiff's medical condition
(docket no. 17, pp. 4-6). Having conducted an independent
review of Plaintiff's medical record and the hearing
transcript, the undersigned finds that there are no material
inconsistencies among these recitations of the record.
Therefore, in lieu of re-summarizing this information, the
undersigned will incorporate the above-cited factual
recitations by reference and will also refer to the record as
necessary to address the parties' arguments throughout
this Report and Recommendation.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S DETERMINATION
determined that Plaintiff met the insured status requirements
of the Social Security Act through the date of the decision,
and also determined that Plaintiff did not engage in
substantial gainful activity since April 16, 2014, the
alleged onset date. (TR 15.) The ALJ found that Plaintiff had
the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease
and joint disease of the lumbar spine. (Id.)
Nevertheless, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff 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 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
(Id. at 17.) The ALJ determined that Plaintiff had
the Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”) to
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) with the
• Plaintiff must use a cane to ambulate and balance;
• Plaintiff can sit for one hour and then stand for 20
minutes at 20 ...