United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
D. Johnston United States Magistrate Judge
Clinton King brings this action under 42 U.S.C. §405(g),
challenging the denial of social security disability
January 6, 2012, plaintiff Clinton King filed an application
for supplemental security income, alleging psychological and
physical impairments. As he states in his opening brief,
“he was, and continues to remain, homeless” and
has “a long history of mental illness” and
“a history of incarceration.” Dkt. #11 at 1-2. He
also has diabetes and back problems.
December 2011, he was treated at Crusader Clinic for back
pain, depression, bipolar disorder, and
schizophrenia. Id. at 2. He acknowledged that he
had been drinking for the last year and was no longer taking
his medications. Id. He was given psychiatric
medications and pain medications for his back, although he
was not prescribed any narcotics because his homeless program
would not allow them. Id.
December 2011, plaintiff had MRIs taken of his lumbar and
thoracic spine. Id. The report from the lumbar MRI
concluded: “Spondylosis. No acute abnormality.”
R. 434. The report from the thoracic MRI concluded:
“Minimal lower thoracic spondylosis. Incidental
cervical spondylosis.” R. 437.
around January 2012, plaintiff learned that he had diabetes
type II and was prescribed insulin. Dkt. #11 at 2. Over the
next year, he often sought treatment from both Crusader and
the emergency room for vacillating blood sugar counts.
Id. at 2-3. During this time, he was taking Abilify
and Seroquel for his various psychiatric conditions. A few
months after taking the medications, he was hospitalized for
overdosing on Seroquel while at the same time using cocaine.
Id. at 3. He joined a drug treatment program
thereafter. Id. In April 2012, he started some form
of counseling at Rosecrance. Id. According to
treatment notes, he was initially diagnosed with bipolar
disorder, PTSD, and alcohol dependence. Id.
2012, plaintiff went to Crusader complaining of low back pain
extending down into his left leg. Another MRI of his lumbar
spine was performed. The conclusion: “Mild lumbar
spondylosis without acute osseous abnormality.” R. 568.
On June 22, 2012, Dr. Kinoshita at Crusader prescribed
Sulindac for plaintiff's back pain. Dkt. #11 at
3. Plaintiff continued to go to the emergency room
and his primary doctor to treat for high blood sugar and back
pain. At a visit to Dr. Kinoshita on December 4, 2012,
plaintiff stated that he had been kicked out of the Salvation
Army, where he had been residing in an alcohol treatment
program, for “possessing contraband medication.”
Id. at 4-5.
January 2013, plaintiff told counselors at Rosecrance that he
had recently been hospitalized because he went into a
diabetic coma and passed out on the street. Id. at
5. Later in the month, he returned to an alcohol treatment
turns out, the facts summarized above are mostly just for
background and do not play any important role in the
arguments in this appeal which focuses instead primarily on
one document. It is a Functional Capacity Evaluation dated
January 22, 2012. Ex. 14F. According to this report,
plaintiff was evaluated over two days, January 21st and 22nd,
regarding his abilities in 13 categories, such as lifting,
standing, sitting, and reaching, and how he could perform
them during an eight hour work shift. It is not entirely
clear who conducted the evaluation and prepared the report.
The name “OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center” is on
the top left corner, but the document appears to be on a form
from a company called DSI Work Solutions. It contains an
“evaluator signature” at the end, but the Court
cannot read the name, and the parties have not indicated who
this person was, nor what qualifications this person had.
addition to the Functional Capacity Evaluation, plaintiff
also relies to a lesser degree on two subsequent notes from
Dr. Kinoshita's office. Ex. 13F. Both are short
handwritten notes on a Crusader form titled
“Medical/Dental Release” and were written several
weeks after the Functional Capacity Evaluation was prepared.
Both seem to be-though this point is somewhat in
dispute-attempts to summarize that report. Neither party has
stated clearly whether Dr. Kinoshita wrote or signed the two
notes. To this Court, the signatures do not look like Dr.
Kinoshita's name. Even if Dr. Kinoshita did not write the
two notes, they at least correspond to office visits he had
with plaintiff. The first note is dated February 15, 2013,
Per functional capacity eval report - he need[s] to stand up
a few times an hour, can sit/stand/walk 50% of the time. No
bending/reach/lower or elevated activity.
R. 657. In his contemporaneous progress note, Dr. Kinoshita
wrote: “45y/o aam presents to office for back pain f/u
- in a program, needing note for them saying what he can do,
and not.” R. 493. The second note is dated February 26,
2013, and states:
May sit/stand/walk for 50% of the time, need to stand up a
few times an hour. Only ...