Miller v. Comm'r of Social Sec., No. 15-1405 (6th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Miller is a single father who, before his alleged disability, held positions as a security guard, machine operator, material handler, and night-club bouncer. In 2006, Miller visited a hospital emergency department with an injured knee. He did not return to work but applied for disability insurance benefits, and supplemental security income. On remand from the Appeals Council, an ALJ determined that Miller was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act and did not qualify for benefits. The Appeals Council declined another review. The district court granted summary judgment, affirming the denial of benefits. Miller’s timely appeal followed. The Sixth Circuit vacated, finding the decision not supported by substantial evidence. A determination concerning Miller’s residual functional capacity (particularly his ability to stand) did not comport with the ALJ’s determination that a doctor’s assessment should be accorded significant weight; the limited discussion of Miller’s obesity arguably did not comply with SSR 02- 1p; the ALJ’s focus on isolated, often stale, portions of the record was an insufficient basis to determine that Miller could conduct work activities on a sustained basis, especially in light of the Appeals Council’s original decision to remand for failure to adequately evaluate Miller’s mental impairments.