United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
JOSEPH E. TARNOW, Plaintiff
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
S. VAN BOKKELEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Joseph E. Tarnow seeks judicial review of the Social Security
Commissioner's decision denying him disability benefits
and asks this Court to reverse the Defendant's denial of
Plaintiff's applications for benefits and remand this the
case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). For the reasons
below, this Court affirms the Acting Commissioner's
Overview of the Case
alleges that he became disabled on December 31, 2011.
Plaintiff allegedly suffers from various chronic illnesses
including migraines, diabetes mellitus, Lyme disease, anxiety
and depression, as well as blindness in his right eye.
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Michael Carr
found that Plaintiff suffered from blindness in his right
eye, migraines, diabetes mellitus, Lyme's disease, an
anxiety disorder, and depressive disorder. Nevertheless, the
ALJ determined that Plaintiff was not disabled because he
possessed the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform
other work despite his limitations. Therefore, the ALJ denied
Plaintiff benefits. The ALJ's decision became the
Commissioner's final decision when the Appeals Council
denied Plaintiff's request for review.
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). A claimant
may obtain review of the Commissioner's final decision in
the District Court of the United States under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1383(c)(3). The Court must overturn an ALJ's
decision where it is not supported by substantial evidence.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Substantial evidence is “such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.” Richardson v.
Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971) (citing
Consolidated Edison Co. v. NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229
Commissioner follows a five-step evaluation process to
determine whether an individual is disabled and may claim
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.
v. Astrue, 697 F.3d 642, 646 (7th Cir. 2012).
claimant bears the burden of proof at every step except step
five. Clifford v. Apfel, 227 F.3d 863, 868 (7th Cir.
argues that the ALJ decision contains error of law and is not
supported by substantial evidence. More specifically,
Plaintiff's argues that the ALJ erred: (1) in weighing
the opinion evidence; (2) by failing to properly analyze
subjective symptoms; and (3) in determining the
Plaintiff's RFC without substantial evidence.
The ALJ Weighed ...