United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
KIMBERLY J. WHEELER, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
S. VAN BOKKELEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kimberly J. Wheeler seeks judicial review of the Social
Security Commissioner's decision denying her disability
benefits, and asks this Court to remand the case. For the
reasons below, this Court remands the ALJ's decision.
Overview of the Case
Plaintiff alleges that she became disabled on October 16,
2012. (R. at 181.) Plaintiff previously worked as a stocker
at Wal-Mart and as a pre-school teacher, but has not worked
since 2012. (R. at 35-37.) The Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) found that Plaintiff suffered from
multiple severe conditions. (R. at 15.) The ALJ, however,
found that she could perform past relevant work as a
pre-school teacher. (R. at 23.) The ALJ also concluded that
she could perform light work with some limitations. (R. at
19.) Therefore, the ALJ denied her benefits. (R. at 25.) This
decision became final when the Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review. (R. at 1.)
Plaintiff's date last insured is December 31, 2017. (R.
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.
argues that the ALJ erred in finding that she was not
disabled. Specifically, she argues that the ALJ improperly
weighed multiple medical opinions and omitted several of
Plaintiff's limitations from the Residual Functional
Capacity (“RFC”) analysis.
The ALJ Mishandled the Weighing of ...