United States District Court, N.D. Indiana
OPINION AND ORDER
William C. Lee, Judge United States District Court
matter is before the court for judicial review of a final
decision of the defendant Commissioner of Social Security
Administration denying Plaintiff's application for
Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) as provided for in the
Social Security Act. 42 U.S.C. §416(I). Section 205(g)
of the Act provides, inter alia, "[a]s part of
his answer, the [Commissioner] shall file a certified copy of
the transcript of the record including the evidence upon
which the findings and decision complained of are based. The
court shall have the power to enter, upon the pleadings and
transcript of the record, a judgment affirming, modifying, or
reversing the decision of the [Commissioner], with or without
remanding the case for a rehearing." It also provides,
"[t]he findings of the [Commissioner] as to any fact, if
supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive. . .
." 42 U.S.C. §405(g).
provides that an applicant for disability insurance benefits
must establish an "inability to engage in any
substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically
determinable physical or mental impairment which can be
expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12
months. . . ." 42 U.S.C. §416(i)(1); 42 U.S.C.
§423(d)(1)(A). A physical or mental impairment is
"an impairment that results from anatomical,
physiological, or psychological abnormalities which are
demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory
diagnostic techniques." 42 U.S.C. §423(d)(3). It is
not enough for a plaintiff to establish that an impairment
exists. It must be shown that the impairment is severe enough
to preclude the plaintiff from engaging in substantial
gainful activity. Gotshaw v. Ribicoff, 307 F.2d 840
(7th Cir. 1962), cert. denied, 372 U.S. 945 (1963);
Garcia v. Califano, 463 F.Supp. 1098 (N.D.Ill.
1979). It is well established that the burden of proving
entitlement to disability insurance benefits is on the
plaintiff. See Jeralds v. Richardson, 445 F.2d 36
(7th Cir. 1971); Kutchman v. Cohen, 425 F.2d 20 (7th
the foregoing framework, "[t]he question before [this
court] is whether the record as a whole contains substantial
evidence to support the [Commissioner's] findings."
Garfield v. Schweiker, 732 F.2d 605, 607 (7th Cir.
1984) citing Whitney v. Schweiker, 695 F.2d 784, 786
(7th Cir. 1982); 42 U.S.C. §405(g). "Substantial
evidence is defined as 'more than a mere scintilla. It
means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion.'"
Rhoderick v. Heckler, 737 F.2d 714, 715 (7th Cir.
1984) quoting Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389,
401, 91 S.Ct. 1410, 1427 (1971); see Allen v.
Weinberger, 552 F.2d 781, 784 (7th Cir. 1977). "If
the record contains such support [it] must [be] affirmed, 42
U.S.C. §405(g), unless there has been an error of
law." Garfield, supra at 607; see
also Schnoll v. Harris, 636 F.2d 1146, 1150 (7th Cir.
present matter, after consideration of the entire record, the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) made the
1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 30, 2009.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since June 1, 2006, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
obesity, migraines and plantar fasciitis (20 CFR 404.1520(c)
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526,
416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to lift and carry 20 pounds occasionally
and 50 pounds frequently [sic]. The claimant can sit for 8
hours in a workday, 4 hours at a time; stand for 6 hours in a
workday, 3 hours at a time and walk for 6 hours in a workday,
3 hours at a time. The claimant can frequently operate foot
controls, balance, stoop, kneel and crouch as well as
tolerate exposure to moving mechanical parts, humidity and
wetness, extreme heat, cold and vibration. The claimant can
occasionally climb ladders/ropes/scaffolds, use ramps or
stairs, crawl and tolerate exposure to unprotected heights.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as a cashier. This work does not require the performance of
work-related activities precluded by the claimant's
residual functional capacity (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from June 1, 2006, through the
date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(f) and 416.920(f).
upon these findings, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff was
not entitled to disability insurance benefits. The ALJ's
decision became the final agency decision when the ...