United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
D. PETERSON, DISTRICT JUDGE
Claire Ball seeks judicial review of a final decision of
defendant Andrew Saul, Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration, finding Ball not disabled within the meaning
of the Social Security Act. Ball raises numerous objections
on appeal, but the court concludes that none of them require
a remand. The court will affirm the commissioner's
decision and cancel the oral argument scheduled for August 6,
Law Judge Ahavaha Pyrtel reached the following conclusions
that are relevant to the appeal: (1) Ball suffers from four
severe impairments (inflammatory arthritis, fibromyalgia,
diabetes, and obesity) and several nonsevere impairments,
including anxiety; (2) Ball can perform light work, with some
additional restrictions, including that “she must be
able to exercise a sit/stand at will as often as every 30
minutes, provided that she is not off-task more than 10% each
work day, ” R. 39; and (3) Ball can perform her past
relevant work as a case aid and preschool teacher as well as
other jobs in the national economy such as referral clerk and
raises the following issues on appeal:
1. The ALJ provided an internally inconsistent residual
functional capacity assessment (RFC) as it relates to a
2. The ALJ failed to explain why she believed that Ball would
be off task 10 percent of the time.
3. The ALJ failed to address the combined effects of
Ball's severe impairments.
4. The ALJ failed to include any restrictions related to
concentration, persistence, or pace in the RFC.
5. The ALJ failed to compare the duties of Ball's past
jobs with her current abilities.
6. The ALJ didn't identify specific skills that would
allow Ball to perform other jobs and didn't explain how
any skills would transfer to the other jobs.
7. The Appeals Council erred in rejecting new evidence that
8. The ALJ conducted a faulty evaluation of Ball's
court will address each issue in turn.
Evaluation of subjective complaints
Ball addresses this issue last in her briefs, the court will
address it first because it overlaps with some of Ball's
other arguments. In evaluating Ball's subjective
complaints, the ALJ correctly articulated the two-step
process by noting that an ALJ first must determine whether
the claimant has an impairment that could produce her
symptoms and second must evaluate the severity of those
symptoms. R. 40. The ALJ also stated that Ball's
statements were “not entirely consistent” with
the evidence, R. 46, which is language that the court of
appeals has criticized repeatedly. E.g.,
Stark v. Colvin, 813 F.3d 684, 688 (7th Cir. 2016).
But an ALJ's use of incorrect ...