United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
S. VAN BOKKELEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kimberly Ann Gagliardi 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 October 21, 2012. (R. at
284.) Her date last insured (“DLI”) is June 30,
2018. (R. at 297.) Plaintiff previously worked as a
bartender, but has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since 2012. (R. at 22.) After two hearings, the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) found that
Plaintiff suffered from severe physical and mental
impairments. (R. at 23.) However, the ALJ concluded that she
could perform jobs that existed in significant numbers. (R.
at 30.) Therefore, the ALJ denied her benefits. (R. at 32.)
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). This requires the ALJ to
“confront the [plaintiff's] evidence” and
“explain why it was rejected.” Thomas v.
Colvin, 826 F.3d 953, 961 (7th Cir. 2016). 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 “a reasonable mind
might accept [it] 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, she argues that the ALJ: 1) ignored
evidence of her left-elbow injury, 2) improperly discounted
the opinion of her treating physician, 3) misunderstood the
testimony of the medical expert, and 4) ignored the report of
a consultative examiner.
The ALJ Properly Considered the Effects of ...