United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
S. VAN BOKKELEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Donna Lynn Hrynko 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
alleges that she became disabled on August 3, 2010. (R. at
366.) Plaintiff most recently worked at Walgreens, but has
not worked since 2010. (R. at 37-38.) The Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) found that Plaintiff suffered from
severe physical and mental impairments. (R. at 13.) However,
the ALJ concluded that she could perform other jobs that
existed in significant numbers. (R. at 22.) Therefore, the
ALJ denied her benefits. (R. at 23.) This decision became
final when the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request
for review. (R. at 1.) Plaintiff previously applied for
disability benefits in 2010, but a different ALJ denied her
benefits. (R. at 128-41.) Plaintiff's request to reopen
that decision was denied. (R. at 11.)
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, in his
Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”) analysis,
improperly discounted Plaintiff's mental and physical
impairments. Additionally, Plaintiff claims that the RFC
includes limitations that do not actually address
Plaintiff's impairments. Plaintiff is correct.
The ALJ Improperly Discounted ...