United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, LaFayette Division
OPINION AND ORDER
P. RODOVICH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the court on petition for judicial review of
the decision of the Commissioner filed by the plaintiff,
William C., on April 4, 2018. For the following reasons, the
decision of the Commissioner is AFFIRMED.
plaintiff, William C., filed an application for Disability
Insurance Benefits on November 7, 2014, alleging a disability
onset date of July 17, 2014. (Tr. 17). The Disability
Determination Bureau denied his application initially on
April 20, 2015, and again upon reconsideration on June 23,
2015. (Tr. 17). William C. subsequently filed a timely
request for a hearing on July 1, 2015. (Tr. 17). A video
hearing was held on January 18, 2017, before Administrative
Law Judge (ALJ) Edward Kristof, and the ALJ issued an
unfavorable decision on March 31, 2017. (Tr. 17-29).
Vocational Expert (VE) Richard Riedl appeared at the hearing.
(Tr. 17). The Appeals Council denied review, making the
ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner.
C. met the insured status requirements of the Social Security
Act through December 31, 2018. (Tr. 19). At step one of the
five-step sequential analysis for determining whether an
individual is disabled, the ALJ found that William C. had not
engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 17, 2014,
the alleged onset date. (Tr. 19).
two, the ALJ determined that William C. had the following
severe impairments: rheumatoid arthritis, large granular
lymphocytic leukemia, and cervical degenerative disc disease.
(Tr. 19). The ALJ concluded that William C.'s severe
impairments caused more than a minimal limitation on his
ability to engage in basic work activities. (Tr. 19). The ALJ
also considered, singly and in combination, William C.'s
non-severe impairments and concluded that the non-severe
impairments did not cause more than minimal limitations in
his ability to perform basic work-related activities. (Tr.
21). Additionally, the ALJ indicated that William C.'s
alleged fibromyalgia was a non-medically determinable
impairment. (Tr. 20).
found that William C.'s mental impairments of depression
and anxiety did not cause more than minimal limitations in
his ability to work. (Tr. 20). In making this finding, the
ALJ considered the paragraph B criteria for mental
impairments, which included:
understanding, remembering, or applying information;
interacting with others; concentrating, persisting or
maintaining pace; and adapting or managing oneself.
(Tr. 21). The ALJ determined that William C. had no
limitations in understanding, remembering, or applying
information; no limitations in interacting with others; mild
limitations in concentrating, persisting, or maintaining
pace; and mild limitations in adapting or managing himself.
(Tr. 21). Because his mental impairments caused no more than
“mild” limitations in any of the functional
areas, the ALJ determined that they were non-severe. (Tr.
three, the ALJ concluded that William C. did not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that met or
medically equaled the severity of one of the listed
impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. (Tr.
22). The ALJ considered listings 1.04, disorders of the
spine, 13.06, leukemia, and 14.09, inflammatory arthritis.
(Tr. 22-23). The ALJ indicated that no treating or examining
physician indicated findings that would satisfy any listed
impairment. (Tr. 22).
consideration of the entire record, the ALJ then assessed
William C.'s residual functional capacity (RFC) as
[T]he claimant has the residual functional capacity (RFC) to
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) where the
claimant can lift, carry, push, and pull up to 20 pounds
occasionally and up to 10 pounds frequently. He can stand
and/or walk up to 6 hours in an 8-hour workday and sit for at
least 6 hours in an 8-hour workday with a sit/stand option of
sitting 30 minutes and standing for 10 minutes. He can never
climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds, but can occasionally
balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. Manipulatively, he
can occasionally handle and finger bilaterally.
Environmentally, he can never have concentrated exposure to
dust, fumes, gases, and other environmental pollutants.
Mentally, he can perform simple, routine, and repetitive
tasks, performing essentially the same task in the same place
every day, but the work must be free of fast-paced work or
(Tr. 23). The ALJ explained that in considering William
C.'s symptoms he followed a two-step process. (Tr. 23).
First, he determined whether there was an underlying
medically determinable physical or mental impairment that was
shown by a medically acceptable clinical or laboratory
diagnostic technique that reasonably could be expected to
produce William C.'s pain or other symptoms. (Tr. 23).
Then, he evaluated the intensity, persistence, and limiting
effects of the symptoms to determine the extent to which they
limited William C.'s functional limitations. (Tr. 23).
The ALJ found that William C.'s medically determinable
impairments reasonably could be expected to cause the alleged
symptoms. (Tr. 24). However, his statements concerning the
intensity, persistence, and limiting effects of the symptoms
were not entirely consistent with the medical evidence and
other evidence in the record. (Tr. 24).
four, the ALJ concluded that William C. had no past relevant
work. (Tr. 28). Considering William C.'s age, education,
work experience, and RFC, the ALJ determined that there were
jobs in the national economy that he could perform, including
parking booth cashier (50, 000 jobs nationally), production
inspector (35, 000 nationally), and greeter (15, 000 jobs
nationally). (Tr. 29). The ALJ found that William C. had not
been under a ...