United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT  AND GRANT DEFENDANT'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT 
R. GRAND UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Walter Alfonso Bellman (“Bellman”) brings this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §405(g), challenging the
final decision of Defendant Commissioner of Social Security
(“Commissioner”) denying his applications for
disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) and
supplemental security income (“SSI”). (Doc. #1).
Both parties have filed summary judgment motions (Docs. #13,
#14), 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 Bellman is not disabled
under the Act. Accordingly, the Court
RECOMMENDS that the Commissioner's
Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. #14) be
GRANTED, Bellman's Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. #13) be
DENIED, and that pursuant to sentence four
of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the ALJ's decision be
alleged disability onset date was January 1, 2014. (Tr. 208).
He was 45 years old at that time. (Id.). Bellman
dropped out of school in the ninth grade. (Tr. 34-35). He has
taken the GED test multiple times without success. (Tr. 36).
When asked what prevents him from working currently, Bellman
testified, “[his] spine…the doctor says it's
messed up and can't be fixed.” (Tr. 43). He
testified that on a scale from one to ten, his pain was ten
all the time. (Tr. 44). He was prescribed assistive devices,
uses a walker, and takes pain medication. (Tr. 44, 55). In
terms of past work experience, in 2006, Bellman worked as a
dishwasher, and from 2010 to 2013, he had some
self-employment income selling used items at a flea
market-type setting. (Tr. 37-40, 181). He testified that he
lives alone, and is able to pay bills with the help of his
daughter, mother, and friends. (Id.). Bellman
indicated that he is able to shop and drive. (Tr. 203).
hearing, Bellman testified that he was being treated by Dr.
Logan, a psychiatrist, once every two weeks. (Tr. 46, 51). He
testified that he was on psychiatric medication, which
“keep[s] [him] down…as far as [his]
thinking.” (Tr. 52). At the request of the state
agency, on June 13, 2015, Bellman underwent a psychiatric
evaluation conducted by R. Hasan, MD. (Tr. 390-92). Dr. Hasan
diagnosed Bellman with Bipolar 1 disorder, mixed type with
psychosis, antisocial personality trait, potential
schizoaffective disorder, cannabis dependence, diabetes, back
pain, and leg pain. (Tr. 392). Dr. Hasan indicated that
Bellman has cognitive deficiency, problems with concentrating
and focusing, a long history of behavioral problems, mood
swings, problems getting along with others, memory problems,
feels paranoid and hears voices. (Tr. 392). But, Dr. Hasan
also opined that Bellman is able to understand, retain, and
follow simple instructions. (Id.).
indicated on his Function Report that he has problems with
personal care, indicating that he dresses and bathes
“in pain.” (Tr. 201). He also indicated that he
has issues using the toilet (“have gone on myself
yes”). (Tr. 201). He testified he does not do any
chores around the house except he will take out “a
little bag  [of] trash.” (Id.). Instead, he
testified that he has “a 65-year-old girlfriend [that]
come[s] by sometimes, ” to take care of him and
household needs such as cooking, laundry, and cleaning. (Tr.
62). On days she does not come over, Bellman testified that
his kids come over and take care of responsibilities such as
cooking, cleaning, and doing the dishes. (Tr. 62).
has five children, none of whom live with him. (Tr. 33). When
asked about his relationship with his kids, Bellman explained
that his interactions with them as follows:
[ALJ]: When they're over, are you able to, you know,
interact with them and - [Bellman]: On their tablet. They can
sit there and they say this or that. We talk.
[ALJ]: Okay. So they're interacting with each other. Are
you involved though?
[Bellman]: No, dad just gets kisses and that's it…
no playing, no hopscotch or jump rope with the girls or
nothing like that.
response to the question, “are you able to read and
write?” Bellman testified, “Yeah. I - I can't
remember-I might have to read it a thousand times. If I have
to read that, I'd have to read it over and over and
over.” (Tr. 64). The ALJ then clarified,
[ALJ]: So if I understood that correctly, you know the words,
it's just understanding what it means that you have to
read over and over again to understand what the words mean to
put the idea or thoughts together.
[Bellman]: Or phrase with the whole paragraph. I couldn't
[Bellman]: - I will have to read that a couple times-…
to get the understanding for not just one word, it's
going to be a whole bunch of them and I forget what I already
read …and I got to read that a hundred times
sometimes to figure …
[ALJ]: Has that always been the case for you?
[Bellman]: - Ever since ...