United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
E.K. PRATTER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Miller, on behalf of her minor daughter N.M., seeks review,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), of an administrative law
judge's decision that N.M. no longer qualifies for
Supplemental Security Income and is not disabled under the
Social Security Act.
independent consideration of the Administrative Record,
submitted pleadings, United States Magistrate Judge
Strawbridge's Report and Recommendation, Ms. Miller's
Objections to the Magistrate's Report and Recommendations
(Objections), and the Commissioners' Response to the
Objections (Response), the Court adopts in full the Report
and Recommendation, as set forth below.
and Procedural History
was born in 2005. In 2010, when she was four-years old, N.M.
was diagnosed with leukemia and began collecting social
security disability benefits. N.M.'s benefits were
terminated in July 2014 based upon a May 8, 2014
determination. On N.M's behalf, Tamara Miller requested a
hearing before an ALJ, which was held on April 14, 2016. The
ALJ issued a decision unfavorable to N.M. An Appeals Council
denied Ms. Miller's request for review on August 25,
2017. Ms. Miller then filed this civil action on behalf of
N.M. On May 23, 2019, the magistrate judge issued his R&R
that Ms. Miller's request for review be denied. Ms.
Miller filed timely objections to the R&R.
Court reviews de novo "those portions of the
Magistrate Judge's R&R to which [the claimant] has
objected." Hirschfeld v. Apfel, 159 F.Supp.2d
802, 806 (E.D. Pa. 2001) (citing 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(C)). The Court "may accept, reject, or modify,
in whole or in part, the findings and recommendations"
made by the magistrate judge. Id.
Miller raises three objections to the R&R:
Ms. Miller objects to the R&R's conclusion that
"the ALJ provided substantial evidence to support her
determination that N.M. had medically improved and that she
was less than 'markedly' limited in several domains
of functioning pertinent to the functional equivalence
evaluation." See Objections at 2 (citing R&R at 17).
Ms. Miller objects to the conclusion that "although the
ALJ erred in her evaluation of N.M. 's ability to acquire
and use information, we are convinced that the error was
harmless as N.M. cannot meet the requisite criteria of
disability by establishing two 'marked' limitations
or one 'extreme' limitation." Id.
Ms. Miller objects to the conclusion that "the ALJ was
not required to obtain review by a mental health expert in
this case." Id. at 3 (citing R&R at 17).
Court addresses each objection in turn.
Substantial Evidence to Support Medical Improvement and