United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
DEREK T. WOYTSEK, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.
BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Derek T. Woytsek appeals the Administrative Law Judge's
denial of his application for Social Security benefits.
Woytsek primarily argues that the ALJ erred by ignoring
evidence that his impairments equal a listing. However, the
evidence Woytsek points to was either relied on by the ALJ or
is consistent with the ALJ's findings. For the reasons
set forth below, Woytsek's brief in support of appeal
[Filing No. 22] is denied and the Commissioner's
decision is affirmed.
January 17, 2013, Woytsek filed an application for
supplemental security income, alleging disability beginning
January 28, 2012. Woytsek's application was denied
initially and upon reconsideration. Woytsek requested
reconsideration, attended a hearing with his attorney, and
testified before an ALJ.
issued an opinion on November 12, 2014, concluding that
Woytsek is not disabled. At step one, the ALJ found that
Woytsek has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since
the date of the application. At step two, the ALJ found that
Woytsek's severe impairments include hearing loss,
asthma, obesity, borderline intellectual functioning,
depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, an antisocial
personality disorder, an intermittent explosive disorder,
marijuana dependence, and alcohol dependence. At step three,
the ALJ found that Woytsek's impairments do not meet or
equal a listing. At step four, the ALJ found that Woytsek has
the RFC to perform a full range of work with the following
no work around dangerous moving machinery; no more than
moderate noise levels as defined in the Selected
Characteristics of Occupations; no more than moderate
exposure to extreme heat, extreme cold, wetness, humidity,
dusts, fumes, gasses or other respiratory irritants; simple
routine one and two-step tasks with the ability to attend,
concentrate, and persist for two hours at a time; no more
than superficial interaction with coworkers or supervisors;
and no interaction with the public.
[Filing No. 14-2, at ECF p. 18.]
found that Woytsek has no past relevant work. At step five,
the ALJ relied on the testimony of a Vocational Expert to
find that Woytsek is able to perform the work of a washer,
counter supply worker, and garment cover bagger. The ALJ
concluded Woytsek is therefore not disabled. The ALJ's
decision became final when the Appeals Council denied
Woytsek's request for review. This appeal followed.
Standard of Review
Court's review of the ALJ's decision is limited to
deciding whether the findings of fact are supported by
substantial evidence and whether there was an error of law.
Stepp v. Colvin, 795 F.3d 711, 718 (7th Cir. 2015);
Roddy v. Astrue, 705 F.3d 631, 636 (7th Cir. 2013).
“Substantial evidence” means “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 Court reviews the entire
record but does not reweigh the evidence or resolve conflicts
in the record. Stepp, 795 F.3d at 718. Nor does the
Court make credibility determinations or substitute its own
judgment for that of the ALJ. Young v. Barnhart, 362 F.3d
995, 1001 (7th Cir. 2004). The ALJ need not mention
every bit of evidence in the record, but he must build a
“logical bridge” between the evidence and her
conclusions, Varga v. Colvin, 794 F.3d 809, 813 (7th Cir.
2015); Arnett v. Astrue, 676 F.3d 586, 592 (7th Cir.
primarily argues that the ALJ erred at step three because he
failed to support his finding that Woytsek's impairments
do not equal the listing for depression or personality
disorder. Woytsek points to several pieces of evidence that
he asserts the ALJ erroneously ignored. The Commissioner
contends that the evidence does not demonstrate Woytsek's
impairments equal a listing. The Court agrees with the
order to establish that Woytsek equals the listing for either
depression or personality disorder, he has to show, among
other criteria, that his “mental impairments result in
at least two of the following problems: (1) marked
restriction in activities of daily living; (2) marked
difficulties in maintaining social functioning; (3) marked
difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, and
pace; or (4) repeated episodes of decompensation.”
Sims v. Barnhart, 309 F.3d 424, 431 (7th Cir. 2002)
(citing 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 1, §§
found that Woytsek's impairments do not meet or equal the
listing for depression or personality disorder. [Filing
No. 14-2, at ECF p. 15.] The ALJ discussed each of the
four criteria and determined that Woytsek has moderate
restrictions in activities of daily living, moderate
difficulties in social functioning, moderate difficulties
with regard to concentration, persistence, and pace, and no
episodes of decompensation. [Filing No. 14-2, at ECF p.
16-17.] The ALJ found that Woytsek's mental
impairments do not ...