Mike Butler v. Kilolo Kijakazi


In the United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit ____________________ No. 20-3187 MIKE BUTLER, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. KILOLO KIJAKAZI, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant-Appellee. ____________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. No. 3:19-cv-00401-DRL-JPK — Damon R. Leichty, Judge. ____________________ ARGUED MAY 26, 2021 — DECIDED JULY 14, 2021 ____________________ Before EASTERBROOK, ROVNER, and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges. ROVNER, Circuit Judge. Mike Butler sought disability insur- ance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401–433, and that claim for benefits was denied by the Ad- ministrative Law Judge (ALJ) following a hearing. The Ap- peals Council declined to review the denial, and therefore the decision of the ALJ is the final decision for purposes of our 2 No. 20-3187 review. Varga v. Colvin, 794 F.3d 809, 813 (7th Cir. 2010); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.955, 404.981. Butler now challenges the ALJ’s de- termination that he was capable of doing light work with some restrictions, and that a sufficient number of such jobs existed that he could perform. The relevant time period at is- sue is from the alleged date of disability, November 4, 2015, through the ALJ’s decision on April 19, 2018. We review de novo the district court’s affirmance of the ALJ’s decision and review directly the decision of the ALJ. Id. The ALJ’s decision will be affirmed if it was supported by sub- stantial evidence, which is “’such relevant evidence as a rea- sonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclu- sion.’” Id., quoting Yurt v. Colvin, 758 F.3d 850, 856 (7th Cir. 2014). “An ALJ need not specifically address every piece of evidence, but must provide a ‘logical bridge’ between the ev- idence and his conclusions.” Id., quoting O’Connor-Spinner v. Astrue, 627 F.3d 614, 618 (7th Cir. 2010). Eligibility for disability benefits is determined by applying a five-step analysis, in which “[t]he ALJ must consider whether: (1) the claimant is presently employed; (2) the claim- ant has a severe impairment or combination of impairments; (3) the claimant's impairment meets or equals any impairment listed in the regulations as being so severe as to preclude sub- stantial gainful activity; (4) the claimant's residual functional capacity leaves him unable to perform his past relevant work; and (5) the claimant is unable to perform any other work ex- isting in significant numbers in the national economy.” Bris- coe ex rel. Taylor v. Barnhart, 425 F.3d 345, 351–52 (7th Cir. 2005); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920. The sole issue in this case concerns the application of Step 5 of the disability benefits analysis, and at that stage of the analysis, the burden shifts to No. 20-3187 3 the Commissioner to prove that the claimant can perform other work in the economy. Id. at 352. As for the other steps of the test, it is undisputed: (1) that he worked in the past as a millwright and machine repair maintenance worker, and that he stopped working …

Original document

Add comment


Recent Posts

Recent Comments