United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
S. VAN BOKKELEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Tasha G. 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
Overview of the Case
applied for supplemental security income under Title II. In
her application, Plaintiff alleged that she became disabled
on April 4, 2014. (R. at 22.) After a hearing in 2017, the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) found that
Plaintiff suffered from the severe impairments of obesity,
history of Grave's disease with residual hypothyroidism,
diabetes mellitus, disorders of the spine (including cervical
and lumbar facet arthropathy, radiculopathy, and anterior
wedging at ¶ 1), occipital neuralgia, left trochanteric
bursitis, PTSD, anxiety, and mood disorder. (R. at 24.) The
ALJ found that Plaintiff is no longer capable of performing
past relevant work. (R. at 30.) The ALJ did, however, find
that a number of jobs existed which Plaintiff could perform.
(R. at 31.) Therefore, the ALJ found her to be not disabled
from April 4, 2014, the alleged onset date, through June 30,
2017, the date last insured. (Id.) 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, 91 S.Ct. 1420, 28 L.Ed.2d 842 (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.
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).
contends that the ALJ committed three reversible errors: the
RFC determination was not supported by substantial evidence;
the ALJ erred in analyzing Plaintiff's subjective
symptoms; and the ALJ failed to properly evaluate statements
from a third party.
stated that her RFC determination was “generally
consistent with or somewhat more restrictive” than the