Dutkiewicz v. Commissioner of Social Security
OPINION; Judgment to issue; signed by Judge Janet T. Neff (Judge Janet T. Neff, clb)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 1:15-cv-163
HON. JANET T. NEFF
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
This is a social security action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) seeking judicial
review of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(Commissioner). Plaintiff Joe Dutkiewicz seeks review of the Commissioner’s decision denying
his claim for disability insurance benefits (DIB) under Title II of the Social Security Act.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
The Court’s jurisdiction is confined to a review of the Commissioner’s decision and
of the record made in the administrative hearing process. See Willbanks v. Sec’y of Health and
Human Servs., 847 F.2d 301, 303 (6th Cir. 1998). The scope of judicial review in a social security
case is limited to determining whether the Commissioner applied the proper legal standards in
making her decision and whether there exists in the record substantial evidence supporting that
decision. See Brainard v. Sec’y of Health and Human Servs., 889 F.2d 679, 681 (6th Cir. 1989).
The Court may not conduct a de novo review of the case, resolve evidentiary conflicts, or decide
questions of credibility. See Garner v. Heckler, 745 F.2d 383, 387 (6th Cir. 1984). It is the
Commissioner who is charged with finding the facts relevant to an application for disability benefits,
and her findings are conclusive provided they are supported by substantial evidence. See 42 U.S.C.
Substantial evidence is more than a scintilla, but less than a preponderance. See
Cohen v. Sec’y of Health and Human Servs., 964 F.2d 524, 528 (6th Cir. 1992) (citations omitted).
It is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.
See Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971); Bogle v. Sullivan, 998 F.2d 342, 347 (6th Cir.
1993). In determining the substantiality of the evidence, the Court must consider the evidence on
the record as a whole and take into account whatever in the record fairly detracts from its weight.
See Richardson v. Sec’y of Health and Human Servs., 735 F.2d 962, 963 (6th Cir. 1984). As has
been widely recognized, the substantial evidence standard presupposes the existence of a zone
within which the decision maker can properly rule either way, without judicial interference. See
Mullen v. Bowen, 800 F.2d 535, 545 (6th Cir. 1986) (citation omitted). This standard affords to the
administrative decision maker considerable latitude, and indicates that a decision supported by
substantial evidence will not be reversed simply because the evidence would have supported a
contrary decision. See Bogle, 998 F.2d at 347; Mullen, 800 F.2d at 545.
Plaintiff was 52 years of age on the date of the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ)
decision. (Tr. 11, 34). He graduated high school and was previously employed as a delivery truck
driver and grinder II. (Tr. 36, 59–60). Plaintiff applied for benefits on August 7, 2012, alleging that
he had been disabled since January 25, 2012, due to deteriorating discs in his back, back pain, a
swollen right knee, a broken right ankle, a longer left leg than his right, diabetes, high cholesterol,
heart concerns, blood clots in his lungs, fatigue from his medications, and dizziness. (Tr. 66–67,
113–114). Plaintiff’s application was denied on November 9, 2012, after which time he requested
a hearing before an ALJ. (Tr. 81–92). On August 7, 2013, Plaintiff appeared with his counsel before
ALJ Henry Kramzyk for an administrative hearing with testimony being offered by Plaintiff and a
vocational expert (VE). (Tr. 30–65). In a written decision dated October 11, 2013, the ALJ
determined that Plaintiff was not disabled. (Tr. 11–29). Thereafter, the Appeals Council declined
to review the ALJ’s determination, making it the Commissioner’s final decision in the matter. (Tr.
1–5). Plaintiff subsequently initiated this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial
review of the ALJ’s decision.
The social security regulations articulate a five-step sequential process for evaluating
disability. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a-f), 416.920(a-f).1 If the Commissioner can make a
dispositive finding at any point in the review, no further finding is required. See 20 C.F.R. §§
The regulations also provide that if a claimant suffers from a
An individual who is working and engaging in substantial gainful activity will not be found to be
“disabled” regardless of medical findings (20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(b));
An individual who does not have a “severe impairment” will not be found “disabled” (20 C.F.R. §
If an individual is not working and is suffering from a severe impairment which meets the duration
requirement and which “meets or equals” a listed impairment in Appendix 1 of Subpart P of
Regulations No. 4, a finding of “disabled” will be made without consideration of vocational factors
(20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(d));
If an individual is capable of performing work he or she has done in the past, a finding of “not
disabled” must be made (20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(e));
If an individual’s impairment is so severe as to preclude the performance of past work, other factors
including age, education, past work experience, and residual functional capacity must be considered
to determine if other work can be performed (20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(f)).
nonexertional impairment as well as an exertional impairment, both are considered in determining
the claimant’s residual functional capacity. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1545, 416.945.
Plaintiff has the burden of proving the existence and severity of limitations caused
by his impairments and that he is precluded from performing past relevant work through step four.
Jones v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 336 F.3d 469, 474 (6th Cir. 2003). At step five, it is the
Commissioner’s burden “to identify a significant number of jobs in the economy that accommodate
the claimant’s residual functional capacity (determined at step four) and vocational profile.” Id.
ALJ Kramzyk determined Plaintiff’s claim failed at the fourth step of the evaluation.
The ALJ initially found that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since his alleged
onset date. (Tr. 16). At the second step in the sequential evaluation, the ALJ determined Plaintiff
had the following severe impairments: (1) degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine; (2)
sacroilitis; (3) obesity; and (4) degenerative joint disease of the knees bilaterally, status post right
knee replacement. (Tr. 16). At the third step, the ALJ found that Plaintiff did not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that met or equaled the requirements of the Listing of
Impairments. (Tr. 17–18). At the fourth step, the ALJ found that Plaintiff retained the residual
functional capacity (RFC) based on all the impairments:
to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) in that he could
lift and carry 10 pounds occasionally and less than 10 pounds frequently and
could sit for a total of six (6) hours in an eight (8) hour workday, and stand
or walk for two (2) hours total in an eight (8) hour workday, except: the
claimant can occasionally push/pull foot controls with the right lower
extremity; the claimant requires the use of a cane for ambulation; the
claimant can never climb ladders, ropes, and scaffolds, or kneel, or crawl; the
claimant can occasionally climb ramps and stairs, and balance, stoop, and
crouch; the claimant must avoid concentrated exposure to extreme cold, and
wetness, including wet, slippery, uneven surfaces; the claimant must avoid
concentrated exposure to vibration, and hazards such as dangerous machinery
and unprotected heights.
The ALJ also found at the fourth step, based off the VE testimony, that Plaintiff could
perform his past relevant work as a grinder II. (Tr. 24–25, 61–62). The ALJ found that this work did
not require the performance of work related activities precluded by his RFC. (Tr. 24–25).
Accordingly, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined in the
Social Security Act, from January 25, 2012 (the alleged onset date) through October 11, 2013 (the
date of the decision). (Tr. 25).
Plaintiff’s Statement of Errors raises the following issues:
Whether the ALJ erred in not giving treating specialist Dr. Kolinski’s opinion
controlling weight and whether the ALJ erred in failing to weigh it in
Whether the ALJ improperly analyzed Plaintiff’s obesity;
Whether the ALJ erred in failing to find Plaintiff disabled for a closed period
Whether the ALJ erred in failing to build an accurate and logical bridge
between the evidence and the result in relation to the coagulation and spine
impairments and to the ability to sit in a full time job; and
Whether the ALJ failed to consider Plaintiff’s consistent and arduous work
history in determining Plaintiff’s credibility.
(Dkt. #12, PageID 770). The Court will discuss the issues below.
On July 11, 2013, Dr. Kolinski examined Plaintiff and noted, under a section
regarding Plaintiff’s treatment plan, that he “has multiple problems that contribute to his chronic
pain complaints. Essentially it is clear to me that he is unable to work due to the [nature] of his pain
and co-morbidities.” (Tr. 708). While the ALJ cited several treatment notes of Dr. Kolinski, the ALJ
did not discuss Dr. Kolinski’s statement that Plaintiff was unable to work. Plaintiff argues that
because Dr. Kolinski was a treating physician, his statement should be given controlling weight.
The treating physician doctrine recognizes that medical professionals who have a
long history of caring for a claimant and his maladies generally possess significant insight into his
medical condition. See Barker v. Shalala, 40 F.3d 789, 794 (6th Cir. 1994). An ALJ must, therefore,
give controlling weight to the opinion of a treating source if: (1) the opinion is “well supported by
medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques” and (2) the opinion “is not
inconsistent with the other substantial evidence in the case record.” Gayheart v. Comm’r of Soc.
Sec., 710 F.3d 365, 375–76 (6th Cir. 2013) (quoting 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527).
Such deference is appropriate, however, only where the particular opinion “is based
upon sufficient medical data.” Miller v. Sec’y of Health and Human Servs., 1991 WL 229979 at *2
(6th Cir., Nov. 7, 1991) (citing Shavers v. Sec’y of Health and Human Servs., 839 F.2d 232, 235 n.1
(6th Cir. 1987)). The ALJ may reject the opinion of a treating physician where such is unsupported
by the medical record, merely states a conclusion, or is contradicted by substantial medical evidence.
See Cohen, 964 F.2d at 528; Miller v. Sec’y of Health and Human Services, 1991 WL 229979 at *2
(6th Cir., Nov. 7, 1991) (citing Shavers, 839 F.2d at 235 n.1); Cutlip v. Sec’y of Health and Human
Servs., 25 F.3d 284, 286–87 (6th Cir. 1994).
If an ALJ gives less than controlling weight to a treating source’s opinion, the ALJ
must “give good reasons” for doing so. Gayheart, 710 F.3d at 376. Such reasons must be “supported
by the evidence in the case record, and must be sufficiently specific to make clear to any subsequent
reviewers the weight the adjudicator gave to the treating source’s medical opinion and the reasons
for that weight.” Id. This requirement “ensures that the ALJ applies the treating physician rule and
permits meaningful review of the ALJ’s application of the rule.” Id. (quoting Wilson v. Comm’r of
Soc. Sec., 378 F.3d 541, 544 (6th Cir. 2004)). Simply stating that the physician’s opinions “are not
well-supported by any objective findings and are inconsistent with other credible evidence” is,
without more, too “ambiguous” to permit meaningful review of the ALJ’s assessment. Id. at 376–77.
The flaw in Plaintiff’s argument is that the statement from Dr. Kolinski is not a
medical opinion that could be entitled to controlling weight. A medical opinion is defined as
“statements from physicians and psychologists or other acceptable medical sources that reflect
judgments about the nature and severity of your impairment(s), including your symptoms, diagnosis
and prognosis, what you can still do despite impairment(s), and your physical or mental restrictions.”
20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1527(a)(2); 416.927(a)(2). While medical opinions offered by treating sources are
generally accorded deference, statements that a claimant suffers from unspecified limitations or is
disabled or unable to work, as here, are entitled to no deference because the determination of
disability is a matter left to the Commissioner. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(d)(1).
Because the statement in question is not properly characterized as a medical opinion,
the ALJ properly disregarded such. See, e.g., West v. Astrue, 2011 WL 825791 at *8 (E.D. Tenn.,
Jan. 19, 2011) (“it was reasonable for the ALJ to omit discussion of Dr. Coffey’s opinion because
it was not a ‘medical opinion’ as defined by 20 C.F.R. § 416.927(a)(2)”); Koller v. Astrue, 2011 WL
5301569 at *5 (E.D. Ky., Nov. 3, 2011) (the ALJ is not required to defer to statements by physicians
concerning matters reserved to the Commissioner). Accordingly, Plaintiff’s claim fails.
Plaintiff next argues that because the ALJ failed to properly evaluate and consider
his obesity, the RFC determination is not supported by substantial evidence.
While obesity is no longer considered a “listed impairment” by the Social Security
Administration, the effect of obesity on a claimant’s ability to work must be specifically considered.
See, e.g., SSR 02–01P, Titles II and XVI: Evaluation of Obesity, 2002 WL 34686281 (Sept. 12,
2002); Shilo v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 600 Fed. Appx. 956, 959 (6th Cir., Jan. 28, 2015) (“[A]n ALJ
must consider the claimant’s obesity, in combination with other impairments, at all stages of the
sequential evaluation.”) (internal quotations omitted).
The ALJ is not obligated to employ any “particular mode of analysis” when assessing
the impact of a claimant’s obesity. See Shilo, 600 Fed. Appx. at 959. Nevertheless, the ALJ must do
more than merely “mention the fact of obesity in passing.” Id. As the Sixth Circuit recently
Obesity . . . must be considered throughout the ALJ’s determinations,
‘including when assessing an individual’s residual functional capacity,’
precisely because ‘the combined effects of obesity with other impairments
can be greater than the effects of each of the impairments considered
Shilo, 600 Fed. Appx. at 959 (quoting SSR 02–1P, 2002 WL 34686281 at *1–2).
The rationale for specifically considering the effect of obesity on a claimant’s ability
to function and perform work activities is straightforward:
Obesity‘ commonly leads to, and often complicates, chronic diseases of the
cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal body systems.’ For
example, ‘someone with obesity and arthritis affecting a weight-bearing joint
may have more pain and limitation than might be expected from the arthritis
alone.’ The ALJ also must specifically take into account ‘the effect obesity
has upon the individual’s ability to perform routine movement and necessary
physical activity within the work environment,’ and consider how ‘fatigue
may affect the individual’s physical and mental ability to sustain work
activity’-especially in ‘cases involving sleep apnea.’
Shilo, 600 Fed. Appx. at 959 (quoting SSR 02–1P, 2002 WL 34686281 at *3–6).
The record shows the ALJ considered Plaintiff’s obesity throughout the decision. At
step 2, the ALJ determined Plaintiff’s obesity was a severe impairment. (Tr. 16). At step 3, the ALJ
found that Plaintiff did not meet or equal a listing in the Listing of Impairments, but noted his
responsibility to consider Plaintiff’s obesity under SSR 02-1P, and concluded “the undersigned has
meaningfully considered the effect of a claimant’s obesity, individually and in combination with his
other impairments, on his workplace function at step three and at every subsequent step.” (Tr. 18).
In considering Plaintiff’s RFC at step 4, the ALJ noted that Plaintiff had lost weight and currently
weighed less than he did when he was working. The ALJ determined that, “[a] review of the
evidence shows that the claimant has severe musculoskeletal impairments and obesity that is severe
in combination even if it is less than the level of obesity he worked with.” (Tr. 20, 22).
As demonstrated, the record reflects that the ALJ mentioned Plaintiff’s weight and
diagnosis of obesity and considered it in combination with Plaintiff’s other impairments. The ALJ’s
explicit discussion of Plaintiff’s obesity indicates sufficient consideration of his obesity under the
regulations and SSR 02–01p. See Coldiron v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 391 Fed. Appx. 435, 443 (6th
Cir. 2010); Allen v. Colvin, No.3:10–cv–01024, 2014 WL 1775564 at *21 (M.D. Tenn. April 29,
2014). Accordingly, Plaintiff’s claim of error is denied.
Closed Period of Disability
Plaintiff next argues that the ALJ erred by not considering whether he was disabled
under a closed period of disability. In support of this position, Plaintiff cites to case law from the
Eighth Circuit, Harris v. Sec’y of Dep’t. of Health & Human Servs., 959 F.2d 723 (8th Cir. 1992).
That case stands for the unremarkable proposition that the Commissioner may award Social Security
disability benefits either on a continuing basis or, where a once-disabling condition later ceases to
be disabling, for a “closed period.” Id. at 724.
As an initial matter, at this stage of review it is not enough for Plaintiff to
demonstrate that substantial evidence could lead to a finding that he is disabled, but rather the proper
inquiry is whether substantial evidence supports the decision made by the Commissioner. Jones, 336
F.3d at 477. Even if this were not so, Plaintiff does not point to any evidence demonstrating that he
should be found disabled during a closed period.
In this case, the ALJ’s decision does not contain a specific finding stating that he
considered a closed period of disability, but Plaintiff cites to no authority requiring that an ALJ do
so. The ALJ did, however, consider the record as a whole, which included medical evidence
predating Plaintiff’s alleged onset of disability through the date of the decision. (Tr. 18–24). The
Court finds that the examination of the whole record necessarily demonstrates that the ALJ found
Plaintiff did not demonstrate a closed period of disability. This conclusion is supported by similar
decisions in other courts. See Evers v. Astrue, No. 3:12-CV-118, 2013 WL 1305627, at *12 (E.D.
Tenn. Jan. 2, 2013) report and recommendation adopted, No. 3:12-CV-118, 2013 WL 1301777
(E.D. Tenn. Mar. 28, 2013) (collecting cases). Accordingly, Plaintiff’s claim of error is denied.
Plaintiff’s Blood Clotting Disorder
Plaintiff next claims that the ALJ’s conclusion he can perform sedentary work is
unsupported by substantial evidence. In a convoluted argument, Plaintiff reasons this is so because
he can only perform sedentary work if his back pain is under control. To relieve his back pain,
however, Plaintiff argues he requires steroid injections, but those injections do not allow for
Plaintiff’s anti-blood clotting medication. Without that medication, Plaintiff contends, he cannot
perform sedentary work because he would be at risk of blood clots. Thus, Plaintiff reasons, he
cannot perform sedentary work because of his back pain, and the only remedy for his back pain
precludes his ability to perform sedentary work. (Dkt. #12, PageID 776).
Substantial evidence supports the ALJ’s conclusion that Plaintiff is capable of
performing sedentary work. For example, the ALJ gave substantial weight to the opinion of Dr.
Shanthini Daniel, who reviewed the record for the state agency and opined on Plaintiff’s physical
RFC. (Tr. 24) Dr. Daniel noted Plaintiff’s complaints of blood clots, but nonetheless concluded
Plaintiff could perform sedentary work. (Tr. 71). Dr. Daniel’s conclusion is bolstered by the
findings of Dr. Kuiper, who noted Plaintiff largely benefitted from his injections and medications,
noting that they “were maintaining functionality with minimal side effects.” (Tr. 261). Notably,
despite Plaintiff’s claim that his back pain can only be controlled through injections the record
shows that after ending his steroid injections, Plaintiff nonetheless reported that his pain was “well
controlled” on his medications, and that osteopathic manipulation helped his overall function. (Tr.
At bottom, Plaintiff is merely offering his lay opinion that he can only perform
sedentary work if he receives steroid injections for his back pain, but this opinion is unsupported by
the record which provides substantial evidence for the ALJ’s step 4 analysis. Plaintiff’s claim of
error is therefore denied.
At the administrative hearing, Plaintiff argued he was impaired to a far greater extent
than that recognized by the ALJ. Specifically, Plaintiff stated he could barely use his hands for
gripping, and could only sit or stand for fifteen minutes before he had to change positions. (Tr. 47).
The ALJ discounted Plaintiff’s testimony on the grounds that it was not fully credible. (Tr. 22–23).
After review, the Court finds no error.
As the Sixth Circuit has long recognized, “pain alone, if the result of a medical
impairment, may be severe enough to constitute disability.” King v. Heckler, 742 F.2d 968, 974 (6th
Cir. 1984) (emphasis added); see also Grecol v. Halter, 46 Fed. Appx. 773, 775 (6th Cir. 2002)
(same). As the relevant Social Security regulations make clear, however, a claimant’s “statements
about [his] pain or other symptoms will not alone establish that [he is] disabled.” 20 C.F.R. §
404.1529(a); see also, Walters v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 127 F.3d 525, 531 (6th Cir. 1997) (quoting
20 C.F.R. § 404.1529(a)); Hash v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 309 Fed. Appx. 981, 989 (6th Cir., Feb. 10,
2009). Instead, as the Sixth Circuit has established, a claimant’s assertions of disabling pain and
limitation are evaluated pursuant to the following standard:
First, we examine whether there is objective medical evidence of an
underlying medical condition. If there is, we then examine: (1) whether
objective medical evidence confirms the severity of the alleged pain arising
from the condition; or (2) whether the objectively established medical
condition is of such a severity that it can reasonably be expected to produce
the alleged disabling pain
Walters, 127 F.3d at 531 (citations omitted). This standard is often referred to as the Duncan
standard. See Workman v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 105 Fed. Appx. 794, 801 (6th Cir. July 29, 2004).
Accordingly, as the Sixth Circuit has repeatedly held, “subjective complaints may
support a finding of disability only where objective medical evidence confirms the severity of the
alleged symptoms.” Id. (citing Blankenship v. Bowen, 874 F.2d 1116, 1123 (6th Cir. 1989)).
However, where the objective medical evidence fails to confirm the severity of a claimant’s
subjective allegations, the ALJ “has the power and discretion to weigh all of the evidence and to
resolve the significant conflicts in the administrative record.” Workman, 105 Fed. Appx. at 801
(citing Walters, 127 F.3d at 531).
In this respect, it is recognized that the ALJ’s credibility assessment “must be
accorded great weight and deference.” Id.; see also Heston v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 245 F.3d 528,
536 (6th Cir. 2001) (“[i]t is for the [Commissioner] and his examiner, as the fact-finders, to pass
upon the credibility of the witnesses and weigh and evaluate their testimony”). It is not for this Court
to reevaluate such evidence anew, and so long as the ALJ’s determination is supported by substantial
evidence, it must stand. The ALJ found Plaintiff’s subjective allegations to not be fully credible, a
finding that should not be lightly disregarded. See Varley v. Sec’y of Health and Human Servs., 820
F.2d 777, 780 (6th Cir. 1987). In fact, as the Sixth Circuit recently stated, “[w]e have held that an
administrative law judge’s credibility findings are virtually unchallengeable.” Ritchie v. Comm’r of
Soc. Sec., 540 Fed. Appx. 508, 511 (6th Cir., Oct. 4, 2013) (citation omitted).
The ALJ’s decision includes a lengthy discussion regarding Plaintiff’s credibility.
The ALJ began by listing the factors he was required to consider in assessing Plaintiff’s credibility.2
(Tr. 19). After a discussion of the record, the ALJ concluded:
As stated in the CFR, these factors include:
Your daily activities;
The location, duration, frequency, and intensity of your pain or other
Precipitating and aggravating factors;
The type, dosage, effectiveness, and side effects of any medication you take
or have taken to alleviate your pain or other symptoms;
Treatment, other than medication, you receive or have received for relief of
your pain or other symptoms;
Any measures you use or have used to relieve your pain or other symptoms
(e.g., lying flat on your back, standing for 15 to 20 minutes every hour,
sleeping on a board, etc.); and
Other factors concerning your functional limitations and restrictions due to
pain or other symptoms.
20 C.F.R. § 404.1529
The claimant is not fully credible. The medical evidence indicates he has had
a good response to medications for pain and that treatment has generally been
effective. Examinations show he has had predominately mildly antalgic gait
and ambulated without difficulty. He had the ability to exercise moderately
in 2011 and has never been noted to be in acute pain distress during any
examination. He was throwing a softball in 2012 and he stated he was too
busy to attend physical therapy. However, he continued to report having
extreme levels of pain that normally require emergency room treatment.
Moreover, at [the] hearing he claimed he had severe limitation in his arms
and hands due to numbness but there is no supportive evidence. The
claimant’s subjective reports are grossly inconsistent with the objective
medical evidence and undermine his general credibility, as does his
testimony that he collective unemployment and looked for work after his
alleged onset date.
The ALJ therefore discounted Plaintiff’s credibility based on a number of reasons,
including Plaintiff’s receipt of unemployment benefits, Plaintiff’s positive response to medications,
the inconsistency between Plaintiff’s subjective reports of pain and examination notes, Plaintiff’s
activities of daily living, and refusal to participate in physical therapy because he was too busy. The
ALJ’s conclusion is supported by substantial evidence. (Tr. 38, 118–19, 248, 254, 280, 314, 446).
Plaintiff argues that the ALJ erred because the ALJ did not account for Plaintiff’s
lengthy work history. A claimant’s work history, however, is only one of the many factors that the
ALJ can consider in making his credibility determination. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1529; see also White
v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 572 F.3d 272, 287 (6th Cir. 2009). The record shows the ALJ considered
Plaintiff’s work history, but nonetheless found Plaintiff’s testimony to be less than fully credible.
(Tr. 22–23, 25). As shown, this determination is supported by substantial evidence. Plaintiff’s
claim of error is denied.
For the reasons set forth herein, the Commissioner’s decision will be AFFIRMED. A
separate judgment shall issue.
Dated: December 14, 2015
/s/ Janet T. Neff
JANET T. NEFF
United States District Judge
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