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.

Hays v. Berryhill

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

July 15, 2019

LAWRENCE HAYS, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOSEPH S. VAN BOKKELEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Lawrence H. seeks judicial review of the Social Security Commissioner's decision denying his disability benefits and asks this Court to remand the case. For the reasons below, this Court affirms the Administrative Law Judge's decision.

         A. Overview of the Case

         Plaintiff applied for disability insurance benefits under Title II. In his application, Plaintiff alleged that he became disabled on November 15, 2013. (R. at 15.) After a video hearing in 2017, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) found that Plaintiff suffered from the severe impairments of cervical degenerative disc disease status-post fusion, cervicogenic headaches, bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, and lumbar degenerative disc disease. (R. at 17.) The ALJ found that Plaintiff could not perform past relevant work. (R. at 26.) The ALJ did, however, find that a number of jobs existed which Plaintiff could perform. (R. at 26-27.) Therefore, the ALJ found him to be not disabled. (R. at 27.) 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. He asserts that the ALJ erred in finding Plaintiff's mental impairments to be non-severe, in failing to accommodate Plaintiff's mental limitations in the RFC, in the subjective symptom analysis, and in weighing medical opinion evidence.

         (1) Mental Impairments

         Plaintiff claims that the ALJ erred because he did not classify Plaintiff's mental impairments as severe. Specifically, Plaintiff refers to his ...


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.