United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
RICHARD E. JONES, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.
ENTRY ON JUDICIAL REVIEW
Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
Richard E. Jones requests judicial review of the final
decision of Defendant Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner
of Social Security (the “Commissioner”), who
denied Jones' 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, &
22, 2012, Jones filed an application for a period of
disability and disability insurance benefits as well as for
supplemental security income. He alleges disability beginning
June 9, 2012, due to multiple orthopedic injuries sustained
in a motor cycle accident, traumatic brain injury with
cognitive disorder, depression, anxiety, and personality
disorder. After denials at the initial and reconsideration
levels, Jones filed a request for a hearing before an ALJ.
hearing was held on January 15, 2015, before ALJ William E.
Sampson who presided from Valparaiso, Indiana. Jones appeared
in Lafayette, Indiana, and was represented by Ashley Marks,
an attorney. Thomas Grzesik, a vocational expert, also
appeared. On August 12, 2015, the ALJ issued a decision
denying Jones benefits. On April 11, 2016, the Appeals
Council upheld the ALJ's decision and denied the request
for review. This action for judicial review ensued.
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 ...