United States District Court, N.D. Indiana
MARTIN J. BOWLIN, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
S. VAN BOKKELEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Martin Bowlin has appealed the Acting Commissioner's
denial of Social Security Disability benefits. For the
reasons stated below, the Court AFFIRMS the decision of the
Overview of the Case
applied for disability insurance benefits and supplemental
security income with the Social Security Administration.
Plaintiff pursued this application through proper
administrative procedures, eventually finding himself before
an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ, after conducting
a hearing, found that Plaintiff was not disabled for purposes
of the Social Security Act from February 16, 2013, through
March 17, 2014. (R. at 47-48).
Standard of Review
Court has authority to review the Commissioner's decision
under 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3). The Court
must ensure that the ALJ has built an “accurate and
logical bridge” from evidence to conclusion. Thomas
v. Colvin, 745 F.3d 802, 806 (7th Cir. 2014). The Court
will uphold decisions that apply the correct legal standard
and are supported by substantial evidence. Briscoe ex
rel. Taylor v. Barnhart, 425 F.3d 345, 351 (7th Cir.
2005). Substantial evidence is “such relevant evidence
as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Craft v. Astrue, 539 F.3d 668,
673 (7th Cir. 2008).
Commissioner follows a five-step inquiry in evaluating claims
for disability benefits under the Social Security Act:
(1) whether the claimant is currently employed; (2) whether
the claimant has a severe impairment; (3) whether the
claimant's impairment is one that the Commissioner
considers conclusively disabling; (4) if the claimant does
not have a conclusively disabling impairment, whether he can
perform his past relevant work; and (5) whether the claimant
is capable of performing any work in the national economy.
Kastner v. Astrue, 697 F.3d 642, 646 (7th Cir.
2012). The claimant bears the burden of proof at every step
except step five. Clifford v. Apfel, 227 F.3d 863,
868 (7th Cir. 2000).
alleges error in two primary respects: (1) the ALJ failed to
properly evaluate Plaintiff's issue regarding work
attendance and sustainability, thereby failing to properly
consider it in the assessment of Plaintiff's residual
functional capacity (RFC); and (2) the ALJ relied on an
out-of-date medical opinion to support a “light”
RFC when more recent evidence would have supported a more
Work Attendance and Sustainability
vocational expert at the ALJ hearing testified that “if
an individual misses two days of work per month or more, it
will preclude employment both in the hypothetical
individual's related past work or any job in the national
economy.” (See R. at 110). The ALJ further
clarified by asking: “So would this individual be able
to do the jobs you previously identified at the sedentary
level? The order clerk, the document preparer and the charge
account clerk?” ...