United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
STANLEY R. KINDER, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
S. VAN BOKKELEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Stanley R. Kinder seeks judicial review of the Social
Security Commissioner's decision denying him 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 he became disabled on May 1, 2011. (R.
at 24.) His date last insured is September 30, 2015. (R. at
64.) Plaintiff worked as an iron worker from 1999 to 2008,
before aggravation of symptoms from congestive heart failure.
(R. at 65.) Additionally, plaintiff was able to work as a
dorm representative, a mostly sedentary position, during a
period of incarceration from July 2011 until October 29, 2012
(R.at 68.) After hearing Mr. Kinder's claim for
disability based on anxiety, back pain, and Level III heart
failure, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
found that plaintiff suffered from severe physical
impairments relating to his heart disease. (R. at 24.) The
ALJ did, however, find that a number of jobs existed which
the plaintiff could perform. (R. at 43.) Based on a finding
that other jobs exist which are within the plaintiff's
residual functional capacity, the ALJ denied the
claimant's disability benefit request on March 13, 2015.
(R. at 44.)
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).
determine eligibility for disability benefits under the
Social Security Act, the ALJ will perform a five-step
“(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
Kastner v. Astrue, 697 F.3d 642, 646 (7th Cir.
burden of proof resides with the claimant for the first four
steps, shifting to the Commissioner for determination of
disability at step five. Clifford v. Apfel, 227 F.3d
863, 868 (7th Cir. 2000).
argues that proper weight was not assigned by the
Administrative Law Judge to the treating physician's
findings. Mr. Kinder's treating physician was Dr. Joyce
Hubbard for most of his illness, including the period from
November 2012 to February 26, 2014. (R. at 38.) During that
period, Dr. Hubbard found that Mr. Kinder could sit for no
more than four hours in an eight-hour work day and stand for
no more than one hour. (R. at 205.)
treating physician, Dr. Hubbard's opinion is entitled to
controlling weight due to the greater duration and depth of
the relationship ...