Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Penrod v. Berryhill

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division

July 25, 2017

LETA PENROD o.b.o TOD ALAN PENROD, Deceased, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          WILLIAM C. LEE, JUDGE

         This 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) and for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 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).

         The law 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 Cir. 1970).

         Given 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. 1980).

         In the present matter, after consideration of the entire record, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) made the following findings:

1. The claimant last met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act on June 30, 2013.
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period from his alleged onset date of April 14, 2012 through his date last insured of June 30, 2013 (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the following severe impairments: coronary artery disease; hypertension; degenerative disc disease; obesity; nephrolithiasis; and diabetes (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404 1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that, through the date last insured, the claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except: the claimant could lift, carry, push and pull 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. He could stand and/or walk for approximately 6 hours and sit for approximately 6 hours in an 8-hour workday with normal breaks and with the option to sit or stand alternatively at will, provided that he was not off-task more than 10% of the work period. The claimant retained the ability to perform tasks not requiring climbing of ropes, ladders and scaffolds but he could kneel, crouch, crawl, balance, stoop and climb ramps and stairs occasionally. The claimant could perform work activities that allowed him to avoid concentrated exposure to extreme cold, extreme heat, wetness, humidity, irritants such as fumes, odors, dust, gases and poor ventilation. He could perform tasks that involved no exposure to work-place hazards such as dangerous, moving machinery, unprotected heights and slippery/uneven surfaces. The claimant was limited to low stress work, defined as requiring only occasional decision making and involving only occasional changes in the work setting; however, he was capable of tolerating predictable changes in the work environment, making simple, work-related decisions and sustaining a flexible and goal-oriented pace.
6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant was born on January 26, 1965 and was 48 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the date last insured (Exhibit B1D)(20 CFR 404.1563).
8. The claimant has a limited education and is able to communicate in English (Exhibit B2E)(20 CFR 404.1564).
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the determination of disability because using the Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding that the claimant was “not disabled, ” whether or not the claimant had transferable job ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.