United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
HAROLD W. TURNER, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.
ENTRY ON JUDICIAL REVIEW
J. McKINNEY, JUDGE
Harold W. Turner requests judicial review of the final
decision of Defendant Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner
of Social Security (the “Commissioner”), who
denied Turner's applications for Disability Insurance
Benefits (“DIB”) and Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) benefits under titles II and XVI of the
Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 416, 423, &
2013, Turner filed claims for DIB and SSI, alleging
disability beginning in January 2013. R. at 11, 285-94. The
Commissioner initially denied Turner's claims and upon
reconsideration. R. at 157-60, 169-83. Turner sought appeal
and requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”). R. at 184-88. In May 2015, Turner,
represented by counsel, testified at a hearing in front of an
ALJ, as did a vocational expert (“VE”). R. at
31-88. On July 2015, the ALJ concluded that Turner was not
disabled because he retained the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform a reduced range of light work,
including a significant amount of other jobs that existed in
the national economy. R. at 11-25.
August 2015, Turner sought review of the ALJ's decision,
which was denied by the Appeals Council in June 2016 and
rendered the ALJ's decision the final decision of the
Commissioner. R. at 1-7, 394. See 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.981, 416.1481. Turner filed the instant
appeal pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and
eligible for DIB or SSI,  a claimant must have a disability under
42 U.S.C. § 423. “Disability” means the
inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by
reason of any medically determinable physical or mental
impairment that has lasted or can be expected to last for a
continuous period of not less than twelve months. 42 U.S.C.
§ 423 (d)(1)(A). To determine whether or not a claimant
is disabled, the ALJ applies a five-step process set forth in
20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4):
I. If the claimant is employed in substantial gainful
activity, the claimant is not disabled.
II. If the claimant does not have a severe medically
determinable physical or mental impairment or combination of
impairments that meets the duration requirement, the claimant
is not disabled.
III. If the claimant has an impairment that meets or is equal
to an impairment listed in the appendix to this section and
satisfies the duration requirement, the claimant is disabled.
IV. If the claimant can still perform the claimant's past
relevant work given the claimant's residual functional
capacity, the claimant is not disabled.
V. If the claimant can perform other work given the
claimant's residual functional capacity, age, education,
and experience, the claimant is not disabled.
burden of proof is on the claimant for the first four steps,
but then it shifts to the Commissioner at the fifth step.
See Young v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs.,
957 F.2d 386, 389 (7th Cir. 1992).
Social Security Act, specifically 42 U.S.C. § 405(g),
provides for judicial review of the Commissioner's denial
of benefits. When the Appeals Council denies review of the
ALJ's findings, the ALJ's findings become findings of
the Commissioner. See Craft v. Astrue, 539 F.3d 668,
673 (7th Cir. 2008); Hendersen v. Apfel, 179 F.3d
507, 512 (7th Cir. 1999). This Court will sustain the
ALJ's findings if they are supported by substantial
evidence. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Craft, 539 F.3d
at 673; Nelson v. Apfel, 131 F.3d 1228, 1234 (7th
Cir. 1999). “Substantial evidence is ‘such
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion.'” Craft, 539 F.3d at
673 (quoting Barnett v. Barnhart, 381 F.3d ...