twenty-five pounds, to stand, walk, or sit for up to six hours in an eight-hour day, and to perform normal physical activities without limitation. Dr. E. W. Donelan reached the same conclusions in his RFC assessment almost a year later on August 21, 1986.
In addition, the report of one of the physicians who treated DeRobertis is consistent with the finding that DeRobertis could perform sedentary work after his heart attack. Dr. Louis McKeever, a cardiologist who examined DeRobertis, issued a statement on February 3, 1987, in which he represented that "[DeRobertis] has been advised not to lift anything over twenty-five pounds and should avoid being out in the cold weather." These restrictions do not prevent DeRobertis from performing sedentary work. In fact, Dr. McKeever's statement implies that DeRobertis can lift up to twenty-five pounds, which suggests that DeRobertis had the capacity to perform sedentary work. Moreover, Dr. McKeever's statement does not mention any other restrictions or limitations on DeRobertis' physical activities which would prevent DeRobertis from performing the tasks required in sedentary work.
Despite this evidence, DeRobertis claims that the ALJ should have found that he was unable to do sedentary work as of April 13, 1985. The primary evidence on which DeRobertis relies to support this argument are the statements of one of his treating physicians, Dr. Harcharan Kalsi. As early as August 29, 1985, Dr. Kalsi stated, in a letter addressed "To Whom It May Concern," that DeRobertis was "unable to do any kind of work." Dr. Kalsi later repeated this statement in a similar letter dated May 8, 1986. These statements by Dr. Kalsi, however, lack credibility because they are inconsistent with Dr. Kalsi's prior written diagnoses of DeRobertis. On July 1, 1985, Dr. Kalsi completed a medical report in which he was required to "describe [DeRobertis'] ability to do work related activities such as sitting, standing, moving about, lifting, carrying, [and] handling objects. . . ." Dr. Kalsi responded, " None impaired but gets short of breath." (Emphasis added.) Dr. Kalsi completed a similar report on DeRobertis' condition on August 26, 1985, just three days prior to his initial proclamation that DeRobertis was "unable to do any work." In the August 26 report, Dr. Kalsi declared only that DeRobertis was "unable to do any strenuous work." (Emphasis added.) Both of these reports fail to provide any indication that Dr. Kalsi considered DeRobertis unable to do sedentary work; in fact, they suggest the exact opposite. Therefore, Dr. Kalsi's subsequent letters contradicting these reports are not credible, especially in light of the fact that the letters provide no explanation for Dr. Kalsi's apparent change of opinion.
DeRobertis claims that an onset date of April 13, 1985, is further supported by his own testimony during the hearing before the ALJ. At the hearing, DeRobertis testified that during the relevant period, he experienced shortness of breath and chest pains, particularly in extreme warm or cold weather, and that he was able to sit for only two hours at a time. After considering the medical record, however, the ALJ found DeRobertis' testimony less than credible. On appeal, the ALJ's credibility determination must be upheld unless it is "patently wrong in view of the cold record." Imani v. Heckler, 797 F.2d 508, 512 (7th Cir. 1986). In the instant case, in light of the medical evidence contradicting DeRobertis' testimony, including the report of one of DeRobertis' treating physicians, Dr. McKeever, this court cannot find the ALJ's credibility determination patently wrong. Therefore, DeRobertis' testimony does not establish an earlier onset date.
One final document apparently supports DeRobertis' position. On November 17, 1987, Dr. Douglas Witham, one of DeRobertis' treating physicians, issued a statement declaring his opinion that DeRobertis had been disabled as of April 1985. Since this statement is wholly conclusory, however, it is not entitled to great weight. See Veal v. Bowen, 833 F.2d 693, 699 (7th Cir. 1987). Therefore, like the statements of Dr. Kalsi and DeRobertis, Dr. Witham's declaration does not establish that the ALJ erred in finding an onset date of November 7, 1986.
Since the record contains substantial evidence to support the ALJ's finding that DeRobertis could perform sedentary work during the period from April 13, 1985 to November 7, 1986, the court will not disturb the ALJ's determination that the onset date of DeRobertis' disability is November 7, 1986. Accordingly, the Secretary's motion for summary judgment is granted, and DeRobertis' motion is denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: June 27, 1989