United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, LaFayette Division
Cathy M. Fisher Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
S. VAN BOKKELEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Cathy M. Fisher seeks judicial review of the Social Security
Commissioner's denial of her disability benefits, and
asks this Court to remand the case. For the reasons below,
the Court affirms the Administrative Law Judge's
Overview of the Case
alleges that following surgery to remove a cyst to relieve
carpel tunnel decompression pain, that Plaintiff also
experienced abdominal pain, and a series of health issues
that caused Plaintiff to become disabled on April 13, 2014.
(R. at 159, 464.) Plaintiff had previously worked as a
custodian, production line worker, chemical mixer, and
assembler. (R. at 22.)
Administrative Law Judge found that Plaintiff suffered from
mild right carpel tunnel syndrome, chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity, sarcoidosis,
and obstructive sleep apnea. (R. at 17.) Nonetheless, the ALJ
concluded that Plaintiff could still perform past relevant
work as a custodian, production line worker, chemical mixer,
and assembler. (R. at 25.) As a result, the ALJ denied
Plaintiff benefits. (R. at 26.) This denial became final when
the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review. (R. at 1-6).
Standard of Review
Court has authority to review the Commissioner's decision
under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The Court will ensure that the
ALJ 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).
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.
claimant bears the burden of proof at every step except step
five. Clifford v. Apfel, 227 F.3d 863, 868 (7th Cir.
submits that the ALJ: (1) erred when he did not find
Plaintiff's sarcoidosis to be a severe impairment; and
(2) erroneously discounted ...