United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
JOSEPH A. REICHART, Plaintiff,
ANDREW M. SAUL, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
DECISION AND ORDER
WILLIAM E. DUFFIN, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Reichart suffers from a Chiari Type I malformation, a
condition in which brain tissue extends into a person's
spinal canal. As a result, Reichart is in constant pain,
which he describes as “like headache pressure” in
his head. (Tr. 64.) The pain varies and sometimes becomes so
severe that when he is undergoing work therapy through the
Veteran's Administration he has to go and hide in a
closet. (Tr. 81.) His condition also leads to blurred vision,
uncontrolled muscle movements in his face, weakness in his
arms, pain in his hands and feet, and a hard time
concentrating or paying attention. (Tr. 64-65.) As a result
of this and other impairments, Reichart alleges he is
applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits under
Title XVI and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
Benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act. Following
a hearing, an administrative law judge (ALJ) concluded
Reichart had the residual functional capacity (RFC)
to perform medium work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567 and
416.967 except he must avoid concentrated exposure to extreme
cold, extreme heat, wetness or humidity, excessive noise,
irritants such as fumes, odors, dust and gases, unprotected
heights and the use of moving machinery; he is limited to
occasional climbing of ladders, ropes or scaffolds; he is
limited to unskilled work performing simple, routine and
repetitive tasks; he is allowed off task up to ten percent of
the workday, in addition to regular breaks; he is limited to
occasional interaction with coworkers and the public; and he
cannot perform fast-paced production tasks but end-of-day
quotas are permitted.
on the testimony of a vocational expert, the ALJ concluded
that, based on Reichart's RFC, age, education, and work
experience, he could work as a packager, laundry worker, or
warehouse worker and, therefore, was not disabled. (Tr. 31.)
The ALJ's decision became the final decision of the
Commissioner when the Appeals Council denied review.
Standard of Review
court's role in reviewing an ALJ's decision is
limited. It must “uphold an ALJ's final decision if
the correct legal standards were applied and supported with
substantial evidence.” L.D.R. by Wagner v.
Berryhill, 920 F.3d 1146, 1152 (7th Cir. 2019) (citing
42 U.S.C. § 405(g)); Jelinek v. Astrue, 662
F.3d 805, 811 (7th Cir. 2011). “Substantial evidence is
‘such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion.'”
Summers v. Berryhill, 864 F.3d 523, 526 (7th Cir.
2017) (quoting Castile v. Astrue, 617 F.3d 923, 926
(7th Cir. 2010)). “The court is not to ‘reweigh
evidence, resolve conflicts, decide questions of credibility,
or substitute [its] judgment for that of the
Commissioner.'” Burmester v. Berryhill,
920 F.3d 507, 510 (7th Cir. 2019) (quoting Lopez ex rel.
Lopez v. Barnhart, 336 F.3d 535, 539 (7th Cir. 2003)).
“Where substantial evidence supports the ALJ's
disability determination, [the court] must affirm the
[ALJ's] decision even if ‘reasonable minds could
differ concerning whether [the claimant] is disab
led.'” L.D.R. by Wagner, 920 F.3d at 1152
(quoting Elder v. Astrue, 529 F.3d 408, 413 (7th
Cir. 2008)). Deference to the ALJ is lessened when the
ALJ's determination is based on errors in logic or fact.
Thomas v. Colvin, 745 F.3d 802, 806 (7th Cir. 2014).
If the ALJ committed an error of law, his decision cannot be
upheld irrespective of whether it is supported b y sub
stantial evidence. Bea rdsley v. Colvin, 758 F.3d
834, 837 (7th Cir. 2014).
argues that the ALJ erred because he failed to explain the
basis for his conclusion that Reichart would be off task no
more than ten percent of the workday. (ECF No. 17 at 3-5.)
The ALJ stated:
In contrast with the consultants' opinions, the residual
functional capacity assessed herein contains a limitation
about off task behavior. This limitation is appropriate given
the claimant's severe impairments. The off task
limitation reflects the belief that the claimant has medical
conditions that will cause him to be off task at work but,
given the evidence as a ...