United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Honorable Richard H. Cleland Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT TECF. NOS. 10, 151
ELIZABETH A. STAFFORD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Mary Craig appeals a final decision of defendant Commissioner
of Social Security (Commissioner) denying her application for
disability insurance benefits (DIB) under the Social Security
Act. Both parties have filed summary judgment motions,
referred to this Court for a report and recommendation under
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and (C). The Court
• Craig's motion [ECF No. 10] be
• the Commissioner's motion [ECF No. 15] be
• the ALJ's decision be AFFIRMED
under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Background and Disability Application
Born May 14, 1960, Craig was 53 years old on the date of
application, and she alleged an onset date of April 7, 2012.
[ECF No. 5-2, Tr. 15; ECF No. 5-5, Tr. 159]. Her last insured
date was December 31, 2015. [ECF No. 5-2, Tr. 17]. She has
past relevant work as a manager of an insurance office.
[Id., Tr. 24]. Craig claimed disability from
multiple sclerosis, complex partial seizures, demyelinating
disease, migraines, limb numbness and pain, eye problems,
arthritis, depression, losing balance, chronic tiredness and
trouble sleeping. [ECF No. 7-6, Tr. 181].
hearing in August 2017, during which Craig and a vocational
expert (VE) testified, the ALJ found her not disabled. [ECF
No. 7-2, Tr. 15-25]. The Appeals Council denied review,
making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the
Commissioner. [Id., Tr. 1-3]. Craig timely filed for
judicial review. [ECF No. 1].
The ALJ's Application of the Disability Framework
“disability” is 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).
Commissioner determines whether an applicant is disabled by
analyzing five sequential steps. First, if the applicant is
“doing substantial gainful activity, ” he or she
will be found not disabled. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4).
Second, if the claimant has not had a severe impairment or a
combination of such impairments for a continuous period of at
least 12 months, no disability will be found. Id.
Third, if the claimant's severe impairments meet or equal
the criteria of an impairment set forth in the
Commissioner's Listing of Impairments, the claimant will
be found disabled. Id. If the fourth step is
reached, the Commissioner considers its assessment of the
claimant's residual functional capacity (RFC), and will
find the claimant not disabled if he or she can still do past
relevant work. Id. At the final step, the
Commissioner reviews the claimant's RFC, age, education
and work experiences, and determines whether the claimant
could adjust to other work. Id. The claimant bears
the burden of proof throughout the first four steps, but the
burden shifts to the Commissioner if the fifth step is
reached. Preslar v. Sec'y of Health & Human
Servs., 14 F.3d 1107, 1110 (6th Cir. 1994).
this framework, the ALJ concluded that Craig was not
disabled. At the first step, he found that Craig had not
engaged in substantial gainful activity from her alleged
onset date and her last insured date. [ECF No. 7-2, Tr. 17].
At the second step, he found that Craig had the severe
impairments of “multiple sclerosis, a seizure disorder,
osteoarthritis, and migraine headaches.” [Id.,
Tr. 17]. The ALJ did not find Craig to suffer from a severe
mental illness. [Id.]. Next, the ALJ concluded that