Mcafee v. Commissioner of Social Security
ENTRY AND ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS 15 IN PART, ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 14 IN PART AND REMANDING CASE FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS. Signed by Judge Thomas M. Rose on 9-25-2017. (de)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
WESTERN DIVISION AT DAYTON
Case No. 3:16-cv-372
Judge Thomas M. Rose
Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington
NANCY A. BERRYHILL,
Acting Commissioner of the Social
ENTRY AND ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS (DOC. 15) IN PART,
ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS (DOC. 14) IN PART AND
REMANDING CASE FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
This disability benefits case is before the Court on the Commissioner’s Objections
(Doc. 15) to the Report and Recommendations (Doc. 14) entered by Magistrate Judge
Sharon L. Ovington. Plaintiff Karen McAfee (“Plaintiff”) applied for Disability Insurance
Benefits in December 2009 based on anxiety and depression with an alleged onset date of
July 1, 2006. After an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) denied Plaintiff’s application in
2012, she sought review from this Court, which remanded the matter to the Social
Security Administration for further proceedings. A different ALJ reviewed Plaintiff’s
application on remand, but she was again denied benefits. Her application is now before
the Court for review of this last denial.
In the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation, she found that the ALJ
erred in her analysis of the application and recommended that the Court remand the
matter for an immediate award of benefits. (Doc. 14 at 17.) The Magistrate Judge
concluded that a remand for benefits was appropriate, rather than a remand for
reconsideration of the application, because “the record contains overwhelming evidence,
or strong evidence” that Plaintiff is under a disability, “while contrary evidence is
lacking.” (Id.) The Commissioner filed Objections (Doc. 15) to the Report and
Recommendation, in response to which Plaintiff filed a Reply (Doc. 16). This matter is
therefore ripe for the Court’s review.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), the
Court has made a de novo review of the record in this case. Upon said review, the Court
agrees with the Magistrate Judge’s analysis in Parts I-V of the Report and
Recommendation, but disagrees with the conclusion that remand is warranted, as set
forth in Part VI, because the evidence is not overwhelming in favor of payment of
benefits. Rather, there remains an issue of fact regarding the medical evidence to be
resolved by the ALJ on remand. The Court therefore OVERRULES the Commissioner’s
Objections (Doc. 15) to Parts I-V, but SUSTAINS her Objections (Doc. 15) to Part VI of
the Report and Recommendation. The Court ADOPTS Parts I-V of the Report and
Recommendation (Doc. 14).
The Court orders this case REMANDED to the Social Security Administration for
further proceedings pursuant to Sentence Four of Section 205 of the Social Security Act,
42 U.S.C. § 405(g). On remand, the Appeals Council shall vacate the findings in the ALJ’s
decision and conduct further proceedings and develop the record as necessary to
determine if Plaintiff is disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act.
DONE and ORDERED in Dayton, Ohio, this Monday, September 25, 2017.
s/Thomas M. Rose
THOMAS M. ROSE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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