United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
GARY A. HILL, SR., Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF
Baker United States Magistrate Judge
Gary Hill appeals the Commissioner's denial of his claim
for disability benefits. Hill asserts three issues on appeal:
(1) whether substantial evidence supports the Administrative
Law Judge's determination that Hill did not meet listing
12.05B or 12.05C; (2) whether the ALJ committed reversible
error by failing to summon a psychologist to testify at the
hearing; and (3) whether substantial evidence supports the
ALJ's step five determination that Hill was not disabled.
For the reasons set forth below, Hill's brief in support
of appeal [Filing No. 28] is denied.
filed for disability benefits alleging an onset date of
August 1, 2010. This date falls within a previously
adjudicated period, so the ALJ adjusted the onset date to May
11, 2011. Hill's claim was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. On April 3, 2013, Hill testified at a
hearing before the ALJ. At the hearing, Hill's counsel
requested a supplemental hearing with a medical expert.
However, the ALJ denied this request because she determined
that it was not supported by good cause. The ALJ denied
Hill's claim by written decision on June 5, 2014.
one, the ALJ found that Hill has not engaged in substantial
gainful activity during the relevant time period. [Filing
No. 13-2, at ECF p. 15.] At step two, the ALJ found Hill
has the following severe impairments: disorders of the left
lower extremity, including degenerative joint disease and
history of fracture and skin graft; leg length discrepancy;
borderline intellectual functioning; depressive disorder; and
a history of alcohol abuse. Id. At step three, the
ALJ found that Hill does not meet or medically equal any
relevant listing. Id. At step four, the ALJ assigned
Hill an RFC that limited him to medium work with the
The claimant can lift and carry fifty (50) pounds
occasionally and twenty-five (25) pounds frequently, can
stand and walk each for six (6) hours and can sit six (6)
hours during an eight-hour workday; the claimant cannot
operate foot controls with the left lower extremity; the
claimant can occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch,
crawl, and climb ramps or stairs, but he must never climb
ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; the claimant must have no
exposure to hazards such as unprotected heights and dangerous
machinery; and the claimant is limited to work consisting of
simple, routine, repetitive tasks.
No. 13-2, at ECF p. 18.] Based on this RFC, the ALJ found
that Hill could perform past relevant work as a material
handler. [Filing No. 13-2, at ECF p. 23.] Rather than
conclude at step four, the ALJ went on the step five. The ALJ
questioned a vocational expert about other jobs Hill could
perform, given his age, education, work experience, and RFC.
Id. The VE testified that Hill could work as a
hospital cleaner, food service worker, and order filler.
[Filing No. 13-2, at ECF p. 24.] Thus, the
ALJ concluded Hill was not disabled. The Appeals Council
denied review, making the ALJ's opinion final. Hill
timely appealed to this Court.
Standard of Review
Court must uphold the ALJ's decision if substantial
evidence supports her findings. Terry v. Astrue, 580
F.3d 471, 475 (7th Cir. 2009). “The substantial
evidence standard requires no more than such relevant
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion.” Moore v. Colvin, 743
F.3d 1118, 1120 (7th Cir. 2014). The ALJ is obliged to
consider all relevant medical evidence and cannot simply
cherry-pick facts that support a finding of nondisability
while ignoring evidence that points to a disability finding.
Denton v. Astrue, 596 F.3d 419, 425 (7th Cir. 2010).
If evidence contradicts the ALJ's conclusions, the ALJ
must confront that evidence and explain why it was rejected.
Moore, 743 F.3d at 1123. The ALJ, however, need not
mention every piece of evidence, so long as she builds a
logical bridge from the evidence to her conclusion.
Pepper v. Colvin, 712 F.3d 351, 362 (7th Cir. 2013).
argues substantial evidence does not support the ALJ's
determination that he does not meet Listing 12.05B or 12.05C
(intellectual disability). Hill asserts that the ALJ
erroneously concluded the record lacks evidence that Hill has
mental retardation or deficits in adaptive functioning that
initially manifested during the development period. The Court
three, the ALJ must determine whether any impairment meets or
medically equals a listing from the Listing of Impairments.
20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(d);Patterson v.
Colvin, No. 1:14-CV-00468-SEB, 2015 WL 898186, at *7
(S.D. Ind Mar. 2, 2015). The claimant has the burden of
showing that his impairments meet a listing by showing that
his impairment satisfies all the criteria specified in the
listing. Patterson, 2015 WL 898186, at *7 (citing
Ribaudo v. Barnhart, 458 F.3d 580, 583 (7th Cir.
2006). The ALJ must then discuss the listing by name and