United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION AND GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF NO. 20)
COHN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a Social Security case. Plaintiff Angela Sue Vandyke has
appealed Commissioner of Social Security’s denial of
her claim for benefits under the Social Security Act. The
case was referred to a magistrate judge (“MJ”).
Both parties submitted motions for summary judgment. After
reviewing the motions, briefs, and the ALJ decision, the
magistrate judge issued a report and recommendation
(“MJRR”) recommending that the
Commissioner’s motion for summary judgment be granted,
Vandyke’s motion for summary judgment be denied, and
the ALJ’s decision be affirmed. Plaintiff has filed
objections to the MJRR and Defendant has filed a response.
reasons that follow, the Court overrules Vandyke’s
objections, and adopts the MJRR, denies Vandyke’s
motion for summary judgment, grants the Commissioner’s
motion for summary judgment, and affirms the ALJ’s
decision denying benefits.
Vandyke’s application for Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”) was denied, she timely requested an
administrative hearing. After the hearing, the ALJ issued a
written decision finding that Vandyke is not disabled under
the Act because she could return to her past relevant work as
of December 31, 2014, the date she was last insured for
disability benefits. The Appeals Council denied review.
Vandyke then commenced this action for district court review.
Subsequently, Vandyke filed timely objections to the
MJ’s recommendation (ECF No. 20), which are now before
ALJ Findings and Medical Evidence
MJRR summarized the ALJ’s decision denying benefits:
Vandyke was 38 years old at the time of her alleged onset
date of February 21, 2014, and at 5’5” tall
weighed approximately 175 pounds during the relevant time
period. She completed high school and some college. She last
worked at ACI Plastics as a customer liaison. She was laid
off from that job in May 2009. (Prior to working at ACI, she
worked as a buyer at MacArthur, and before that she was a lab
manager at Water Testing Service.) She now alleges disability
primarily as a result of Meniere’s Disease with
vertigo, atypical migraines, and a pineal brain cyst.
Importantly, Vandyke’s date last insured, for purposes
of establishing her right to [disability insurance benefits],
was December 31, 2014. Following the five-step sequential
analysis, the ALJ found that from her alleged onset date of
February 21, 2014, through her date last insured of December
31, 2014, Vandyke was not disabled under the Act.
. At Step One, the ALJ found that Vandyke
had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since
February 21, 2014 (the alleged onset date).
. At Step Two, the ALJ found that she had
the severe impairments of migraine headaches, episodic
vertigo and probable Meniere’s disease.
. Step Three, the ALJ found that
Vandyke’s impairments, whether considered alone or in
combination, did not meet or medically equal a listed
. The ALJ then assessed Vandyke’s
residual functional capacity (“RFC”), concluding
that she was capable of performing light work, with the
following additional limitations: can occasionally climb
ramps and stairs, but can never climb ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds; can occasionally balance, stoop, crouch, and
kneel; can never crawl; must avoid workplace hazards such as
unprotected heights or hazardous machinery; and requires that
the noise level not exceed loud levels as defined in the
Dictionary of Occupational Titles (“DOT”).
. At Step Four, the ALJ found that Vandyke
was capable of performing her past relevant work as a lab
tester and customer service coordinator. As a result, the ALJ
concluded that Vandyke was not disabled under the Act.
(ECF No. 19, PageID.565- 567). On appeal, the MJ reviewed the
ALJ’s decision and found that it was supported by