Leta Penrod, on behalf of Tod Alan Penrod, Deceased, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Nancy A. Berryhill., Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant-Appellee.
June 6, 2018
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. No. 1:16cv324-
William C. Lee, Judge.
Wood, Chief Judge, and Kanne and Scudder, Circuit Judges.
Penrod brings this appeal on behalf of her deceased husband,
Tod Penrod, who before his death applied for disability
insurance benefits based on various impairments, including
arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure. An
administrative law judge determined that, despite these
impairments, Penrod retained the capacity to work through his
last insured date. Because substantial evidence supports that
decision, we affirm.
Penrod first applied for disability benefits and supplemental
security income in September 2010, when he was 45. He alleged
that he became disabled after a heart attack the previous
month. An administrative law judge ("ALJ") denied
Penrod's application for benefits in April 2012. The
Appeals Council declined review, and the district court
upheld the agency's decision, Penrod v. Colvin,
No. 1:13-cv-131-APR, 2014 WL 2700253 (N.D. Ind. June 13,
2014). Penrod did not appeal to this court.
Penrod's case was pending in the district court, he filed
a second application for disability insurance benefits (but
not for supplemental security income). This time he alleged
that he was disabled because of arthritis, diabetes, high
blood pressure, high cholesterol, short-term memory loss, and
asthma. This second application, which is the subject of this
appeal, covers the period from April 2012 (when the ALJ
denied Penrod's first application for benefits) to June
2013 (his date last insured).
relevant medical evidence is sparse. After his 2010 heart
attack, Penrod received a stent and regular follow-up care
for coronary artery disease. In January 2012 his cardiologist
opined that Penrod had been "doing well from a
cardiovascular standpoint," though he continued to
experience occasional chest pain. The pain occurred more
frequently when Penrod exerted himself or became anxious, but
it sometimes occurred when he was at rest. One nitroglycerin
tablet typically relieved the pain when it did not subside on
its own. In 2012 Penrod twice visited the emergency room with
complaints of chest pain, though he did not require treatment
on either visit.
poverty and lack of health insurance coverage complicated his
treatment. For example, in November 2012 Penrod told his
cardiologist that he could not afford all of his prescribed
medications or a recommended stress test.
also suffered from kidney stones during the relevant period.
In January 2012 he had surgery to extract several stones and
to implant a ureteral stent. Three months later he had
another stone removed. And in October 2012 he visited the
emergency room with "severe left flank pain," which
was relieved with Toradol. Soon afterwards a urologist
performed lithotripsy to clear an obstruction in Penrod's
consultative physician, Dr. Vijay Kamineni, examined Penrod
in May 2013 in connection with his application for benefits.
Penrod identified his chief complaint as arthritis pain. Dr.
Kamineni observed a limited range of motion in Penrod's
spine, shoulders, and hips. Later x-rays of those areas
showed moderate degeneration in Penrod's spine but no
significant degeneration in his shoulders or hips. After
reviewing Penrod's medical records, two consultative
doctors agreed that he could perform light work, 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1567(b), subject to certain postural and
different ALJ held a hearing on Penrod's second
application for benefits in December 2014, 18 months after
Penrod's date last insured. Penrod and his lawyer
acknowledged at the outset of the hearing that the period
under consideration was limited to April 2012 through June
testified about his work and medical history. He said that he
stood 5 feet and 8 inches tall and weighed about 255 pounds.
He had dropped out of high school after the 11th grade, and
he had previously worked as a truck driver, laborer, and
machine operator. The last time he had tried to work was in
2012, when he worked full-time for a few months at a