Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

McCollum v. Berryhill

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

May 28, 2019

KIMBERLEY DELICHA MCCOLLUM, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOSEPH S. VAN BOKKELEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Kimberley Delicha McCollum 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 Administrative Law Judge's decision.

         A. Overview of the Case

         In her application, Plaintiff alleged that she became disabled on May 1, 2011. (R. at 18.) After a video hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) in 2016, the ALJ found that Plaintiff suffered from the severe impairments of degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, right trigger finger, bilateral foot impairment, and obesity. (R. at 20.) The ALJ did, however, find that a number of jobs existed which Plaintiff could perform. (R. at 27-28.) Therefore, the ALJ found her to be not disabled. (R. at 34.) This decision became final when the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. (R. at 1.)

         B. Standard of Review

         This 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, 91 S.Ct. 1420, 28 L.Ed.2d 842 (1971).

         C. Disability Standard

         The 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. 2012). The claimant bears the burden of proof at every step except step five. Clifford v. Apfel, 227 F.3d 863, 868 (7th Cir. 2000).

         D. Analysis

         Plaintiff contends that the ALJ committed four reversible errors: the ALJ erred in weighing the medical opinion, in the RFC determination, in relying on improper VE testimony, and in analyzing Plaintiff's subjective symptoms.

         (1) Medical Evidence

         Plaintiff argues that the ALJ erred in weighing the opinion of treating podiatrist Dr. Ahmad Elsamad, DPM. Dr. Elsamad provided a written opinion on June 3, 2013. (R. at 343.) Dr. Elsamad opined that Plaintiff could not perform the essential elements of her job as a U.S. Postal Carrier from February 2008 through the date of the opinion. He then described the portions of the job that Plaintiff could no longer perform, such as standing; using her feet, ankles, and legs throughout the day; bending, reaching, lifting, and casing mail; lifting up to seventy pounds; being able to enter and exit a vehicle repeatedly throughout the day; loading large trays of mail into a vehicle; and driving a vehicle throughout the day. Id. Dr. Elsamad stated that Plaintiff suffered from “metadetcus, ” chronic foot pain, swelling, foot ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.