United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
F. Cox, District Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. MAJZOUB, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Steven DeLong seeks judicial review under 42 U.S.C. §
405(g) of Defendant Commissioner of Social Security's
determination that he 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. 12)
and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (docket no.
14). 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. 3.) 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. 12) be
DENIED, that Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment (docket no. 14) be GRANTED,
and that the case be dismissed in its entirety.
applied for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”)
on January 27, 2015 alleging that he has been disabled since
October 18, 2014. (TR 156-62.) The Social Security
Administration initially denied Plaintiff's claims on
October 9, 2015. (TR 79-95.) On July 20, 2017, Plaintiff
appeared with counsel and testified at a hearing before
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Theodore Kim.
September 5, 2017, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on
Plaintiff's claims. (TR 13-28.) Plaintiff requested
review by the Appeals Council, which was denied on April 4,
2018. (TR 1-5.) On May 17, 2018, Plaintiff commenced this
action for judicial review. (Docket no. 1.) The parties filed
cross motions for summary judgment, which are currently
before the Court. (Docket no. 12; docket no. 14.)
HEARING TESTIMONY AND MEDICAL EVIDENCE
sets forth a brief procedural history of this matter as well
as a short summary of his medical issues. (Docket no. 12, pp.
4-10.) In addition, the ALJ summarized Plaintiff's
medical record (TR 19-26), and Defendant adopted the
ALJ's recitation of the facts (docket no. 14, p. 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
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S DETERMINATION
determined that Plaintiff met the insured status requirements
of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2018 and did
not engage in substantial gainful activity since October 18,
2014, the alleged onset date. (TR 18.) In addition, the ALJ
found that Plaintiff had the following severe impairments:
“degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine with
radiculopathy; degenerative joint disease of the lumbar
spine; obesity; cervicalgia; and cervical disc herniation
with spondylosis.” (TR 19.) 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 C.F.R. Part
404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. (TR 20.) The ALJ determined that
Plaintiff had the Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”) to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 C.F.R. 404.1567(a), subject to the following
• Plaintiff can occasionally push or pull or operate
foot controls with both lower extremities.
• Plaintiff requires a cane to ambulate.
• Plaintiff can occasionally kneel, crouch, stoop,
balance, and crawl.
• Plaintiff can frequently climb stairs and ramps but
can never climb ladders, ...