United States District Court, N.D. New York
PETER A. GORTON, ESQ., Lachman, Gorton Law Firm, Endicott, NY, for the Plaintiff.
RICHARD S. HARTUNIAN, United States Attorney, AMANDA J. LOCKSHIN, ANDREEA L. LECHLEITNER, Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Syracuse, NY, Steven P. Conte, Regional Chief Counsel, Social Security Administration Office of General Counsel, Region II New York, NY, for the Defendant.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
GARY L. SHARPE, Chief District Judge.
Plaintiff Kristine Miley challenges defendant Commissioner of Social Security's denial of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), seeking review under 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3). (Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) In a Report and Recommendation (R&R) filed September 8, 2014, Magistrate Judge Earl S. Hines recommended that the Commissioner's decision be affirmed. (Dkt. No. 20.) Pending are Miley's objections to the R&R. (Dkt. No. 21.) For the reasons that follow, the court adopts the R&R in its entirety.
On August 17, 2010, Miley filed an application for SSI under the Social Security Act. (Tr. at 55, 85-86.) After her application was denied, Miley requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), which was held on October 2, 2012 ( Id. at 56-62, 282-315.) On October 23, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision denying the requested benefits, which became the Commissioner's final determination upon the Social Security Administration Appeals Council's denial of review. ( Id. at 6-8, 12-24.)
Miley commenced the present action by filing a complaint on May 15, 2013, seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's determination. (Compl.) After receiving the parties' briefs, Judge Hines issued an R&R recommending that the Commissioner's decision be affirmed. ( See generally Dkt. No. 20.)
III. Standard of Review
By statute and rule, district courts are authorized to refer social security appeals to magistrate judges for proposed findings and recommendations as to disposition. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A), (B); N.D.N.Y. L.R. 40.1, 72.3(d); General Order No. 18. Before entering final judgment, this court reviews report and recommendation orders in cases it has referred to a magistrate judge. If a party properly objects to a specific element of the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations, this court reviews those findings and recommendations de novo. See Almonte v. N.Y. State Div. of Parole, No. Civ. 904CV484GLS, 2006 WL 149049, at *3, *5 (N.D.N.Y. Jan. 18, 2006). In cases where no party has filed an objection, only vague or general objections are made, or a party resubmits the same papers and arguments already considered by the magistrate judge, this court reviews the findings and recommendations of the magistrate judge for clear error. See id. at *4-5.
Miley raises two specific objections to the R&R, which the court will review de novo. ( See generally Dkt. No. 21.) The remainder of the R&R will be reviewed for clear error.
Miley argues that the R&R "did not account in any part for the headaches sustained by... Miley which limit her ability  to work on a regular and ongoing basis." (Dkt. No. 21 at 1.) According to Miley, the ALJ erred in failing to find her headaches severe under the regulations, and failing to account for the "episodic limiting ...