United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
DENISE PAGE HOOD Chief U.S. District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
STEVEN WHALEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Cheryl Denise Duggan (“Plaintiff”) brings this
action under 42 U.S.C. §405(g) challenging a final
decision of Defendant Commissioner (“Defendant”)
denying her application for Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) under the Social Security Act. Both
parties have filed summary judgment motions which have been
referred for a Report and Recommendation pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). For the reasons set forth below,
I recommend that Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
[Dock. #14] be GRANTED and that Plaintiff's Amended
Motion for Summary Judgment [Dock. #11] be DENIED.
applied for SSI on May 12, 2015, alleging disability as of
October 1, 2014 (Tr. 154). After the initial denial of
benefits, Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing, held
on April 3, 2017 in Livonia, Michigan. Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) Richard L. Sasena presided (Tr.
24). Plaintiff, represented by attorney Barry Keller,
testified (Tr. 28-44), as did Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Kelly A. Stroker (Tr. 44-46). On May 25,
2017, ALJ Sasena found that Plaintiff was not disabled (Tr.
10-19). On February 8, 2018, the Appeals Council denied
review (Tr. 1-3). Plaintiff filed for judicial review of the
final decision on April 9, 2018.
born February 7, 1966, was 51 at the time of ALJ Sasena's
decision (Tr. 19, 154). She completed high school and worked
previously as a security guard and poll clerk (Tr. 176, 265).
She alleges disability due to back pain, leg weakness,
diabetes, and hypertension (Tr. 175).
prefaced his client's testimony by stating that Plaintiff
was unable to work due to the diabetic complication of
peripheral neuropathy of the lower extremities (Tr.
then offered the following testimony:
She had not worked in the two years before the hearing (Tr.
28). Her last job before quitting work was as a security
guard at Ford Field (Tr. 28). She quit because nerve pain of
the feet made standing for long periods difficult (Tr. 29).
The pain in her right foot was slightly worse than the left
(Tr. 41). On a scale of one to ten, the foot pain was at
“seven” on a daily basis (Tr. 42). Due to back
pain, she also experienced problems sitting (Tr. 29). The
back pain was intermittent but on occasion created level
“ten” discomfort (Tr. 43). She had been using
insulin for the past eight years and had been using a cane
for eight years due to leg weakness (Tr. 29).
unable to stand for more than 10 minutes at a time but could
sit for at least 30 minutes (Tr. 30-31). She was able to walk
one block (Tr. 31). She could lift and carry a gallon of milk
for short distances (Tr. 31-32). She had not held a valid
driver's license since losing her license 20 years
earlier following a DUI conviction (Tr. 32). She reduced her
alcohol use after the diabetes diagnosis and quit drinking
altogether two months before the hearing (Tr. 32). She had
not used marijuana in four months (Tr. 33). She smoked around
a quarter-pack of cigarettes daily (Tr. 33-34). She lived in
a house with her elderly father (Tr. 34). She received health
insurance through the State of Michigan (Tr. 34). She had
been taking Neurontin for nerve pain the past 10 years (Tr.
35). She coped with foot pain and burning by reclining (Tr.
was able to care for her personal needs but relied on her
father to perform household chores (Tr. 36). On a typical
day, she would first eat breakfast then rest and watch
television for the remainder of the day (Tr. 37). She read
but did not engage in hobbies (Tr. 44). She would be able to
perform a job requiring primarily sitting, but noted that
most non-computer work required standing (Tr. 37). She
treated with the same primary care physician for 20 years but
had recently changed doctors due to a change in insurance