Court agrees. Greer received a final
decision in this matter on April 7, 2001 (R. 4) and filed his complaint
in this Court on May 3, 2001. Therefore, because a final decision was
made pending judicial review in federal court prior to the effective date
(Feb. 19, 2002) of the final rules, this Court must review the ALJ's
decision in accordance with the rules in effect at the time of the final
decision, namely Listing 1.03A.
B. The ALJ's Decision was Supported by Substantial Evidence
Greer contends the ALJ erred at Step Three in concluding his
impairments did not meet or equal any of those listed in Subpart P.
Specifically, he submits he met Listing 1.03A. 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt.
P., App.1, § 1.03A. Greer also contends the ALJ mistakenly relied
upon the opinions of the two non-treating, non-examining physicians.
In making a decision, the ALJ must articulate his analysis of the
evidence. Dixon v. Massanari, 270 F.3d 1171, 1176 (7th Cir. 2001). The
ALJ is not required to address every piece of evidence or testimony, but
must provide some glimpse into his reasoning. Id. Where an ALJ denies
benefits, he must build an accurate and logical bridge from the evidence
to his conclusion. Id.
The main issue presented is whether Greer meets the requirements for a
finding of disability based upon the Listing of Impairments Section 1.03A
for arthritis of a weight-bearing joint. 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P.,
App.1, § 1.03A. A claimant is eligible for benefits if he has an
impairment, or combination of impairments, which meets or equals an
impairment found in the Listing of Impairments. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520
(d), 416.920(d); 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 1; Maggard v. Apfel,
167 F.3d 376, 379 (7th Cir. 1999).
A claimant may demonstrate his impairments are presumptively disabling
by 1) meeting the specific criteria described in the Listing;
20 C.F.R. § 404.1525(a), 416.925(a) or 2) showing his impairments are
accompanied by findings equal in severity to those described in a section
of the Listing. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1526, 416.926; Maggard, 167 F.3d at
380. To meet or equal a listed impairment, the applicant must satisfy all
of the criteria of the listed impairment. Maggard, 167 F.3d at 380. The
claimant also bears the burden of proving his condition meets or equals
the listed impairment. Id.
Substantial evidence in the record supports the ALJ's decision that
Greer did not meet all of the requirements of 1.03A. Listing 1.03A
Arthritis of a major weight-bearing joint (due to any cause): With
history of persistent joint pain and stiffness with signs of marked 1
imitation of motion or abnormal motion of the affected joint on
current physical examination. With:
A. Gross anatomical deformity of the hip or knee (e.g. sublaxation,
contracture, bony or fibrous ankylosis, instability) supported by
X-ray evidence of either significant joint space narrowing or
significant bony destruction and markedly limiting ability to walk or
20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P., App.1, § 1.03A. The parties agree Greer
has arthritis of a major weight-bearing joint with a history of
persistent joint pain and stiffness with signs of marked limitation of
motion or abnormal motion of the affected joint on current physical
examination. Therefore, the only dispute is over subpart A.