United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
S. VAN BOKKELEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Heather Lea Shingler 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 affirms the ALJ's decision.
Overview of the Case
alleges that she became disabled on February 19, 2013. (R. at
176.) Plaintiff most recently worked as a leasing agent, but
has not worked since 2013. (R. at 48-49.) The Administrative
Law Judge (“ALJ”) found that Plaintiff suffered
from two severe conditions. (R. at 20.) However, the ALJ
concluded that, in between her alleged onset date and her
date last insured (“DLI”) of September 30, 2014
(“the relevant period”), she could have performed
light work with some limitations. (R. at 23.) Therefore, the
ALJ denied her benefits. (R. at 29.) This decision became
final when the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request
for review. (R. at 1.)
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). Evidence is
substantial if it is such “that a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support [the ALJ's]
conclusion.” Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S.
389, 401 (1971).
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, Plaintiff argues that the ALJ
improperly discounted her treating physician's opinion
and failed to consider the limiting effects of her non-severe
impairments. Her arguments are unavailing.
The ALJ Properly Discounted Dr. ...