The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mihm, District Judge.
The Plaintiff, Robert Jones, filed suit against the
Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human
Services ("the Secretary") seeking review under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)
of a final decision by the Secretary which denied him
entitlement to a disability period and disability insurance
In order to qualify for a period of disability insurance
benefits under the Social Security Act ("Act"), an individual
must meet the insured status requirements under the Act, be
under the age of sixty-five, file an application for
disability insurance benefits and a period of disability, and
be under a disability as defined in the Act. 42 U.S.C. § 416(i),
423; Griffin v. Weinberger, 407 F. Supp. 1388, 1392
(N.D.Ill. 1975), aff'd. 539 F.2d 712 (7th Cir. 1976). The
determination of a disability which entitles a claimant to
benefits under the Act is a two-step process:
1. There must be a medically determinable
physical or mental impairment which can be
expected to last for a continuous period of
not less than twelve months or be expected to
result in the death of the claimant; and
2. There must be a factual determination that
the impairment renders the plaintiff unable
to engage in any substantial gainful
McNeil v. Califano, 614 F.2d 142, 143 (7th Cir. 1980);
Lieberman v. Califano, 592 F.2d 986 (7th Cir. 1979);
42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A).
The burden of proof is on the claimant to establish his or
her entitlement to disability insurance benefits. Jeralds v.
Richardson, 445 F.2d 36 (7th Cir. 1971). However, once he has
shown that he can no longer perform the kind of work in which
he was previously engaged, the burden shifts to the Secretary
to prove that there are other jobs which the claimant can
perform and that such jobs exist in significant numbers in the
national economy. Stark v. Weinberger, 497 F.2d 1092 (7th Cir.
Judicial review of an Administrative Law Judge's findings
pursuant to these standards is limited to a determination of
whether the findings are supported by substantial evidence.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Lechelt v. Cohen, 428 F.2d 214 (7th Cir.
1970). In determining whether the Administrative Law Judge's
findings are supported by substantial evidence, the court must
decide whether the record contains such relevant evidence as a
reasonable person might accept as adequate to support the
findings. See Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 91 S.Ct.
1420, 28 L.Ed.2d 842 (1971). It is not the function of the
court on review to try the case de novo or to supplant the
Administrative Law Judge's findings with the court's own
assessment of the evidence. This court can only determine
whether the Administrative Law Judge's findings were supported
by substantial evidence. Torres v. Secretary of Health and
Human Services, 677 F.2d 167 (1st Cir. 1982); Cummins v.
Schweiker, 670 F.2d 81 (7th Cir. 1982).
If there is a conflict in the evidence, the burden is upon
the claimant to prove that he or she meets the requirements of
eligibility. Johnson v. Weinberger, 525 F.2d 403, 407 (7th Cir.
1975). In addition, an Administrative Law Judge's credibility
determination regarding subjective evidence should be given
considerable weight by the court. Bibbs v. Secretary of Health,
Education & Welfare, 626 F.2d 526, 528 (7th Cir. 1980).
The district court must consider four elements of proof in
determining whether a claimant is disabled under the Act: (1)
objective medical facts or clinical findings; (2) diagnosis of
examining physicians; (3) subjective evidence of pain and
disability as testified to by the claimant and as observed by
others; and (4) the claimant's age, education, and work
history. Johnson v. Weinberger, 525 F.2d at 407.
The Plaintiff, Robert G. Jones, applied for disability
insurance benefits on November 1, 1983. Plaintiff's claim was
denied initially, on reconsideration, and after a de novo
hearing before an Administrative Law Judge in an order dated
January 25, 1985. The Appeals Council denied the Plaintiff's
request for review on May 30, 1985, at which time the ALJ's
decision denying the Plaintiff benefits became the final
decision of the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Mr. Jones alleges that he is disabled due to severe pain
that occurs mainly in his chest area. He testified at the
hearing before the ALJ that he has experienced the pain for
more than nine years, and, even though it can be caused by
exertion, many times it is non-exertional in nature. Mr. Jones
testified that the pain prevents him from sleeping properly
and that his overall situation in life has caused him to
become angry, depressed, and frustrated.
After considering the evidence in the record and the
testimony of the claimant, the ALJ reached the following
* The claimant met the disability insured status
requirements of the Social Security Act on
April 29, 1983, and the claimant has not