United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
HONORABLE MICHAEL T. MASON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Donna M. Bishop (“Bishop” or
“Claimant”) brings this motion for summary
judgment seeking judicial review of the final decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”).
The Commissioner denied Bishop's claim for disability
insurance benefits under Sections 216 and 223 of the Social
Security Act (the “Act”), 42 U.S.C. §§
416(I) and 423(d). The Commissioner filed a cross-motion for
summary judgment, requesting that this Court uphold the
decision of the administrative law judge (the
“ALJ”). This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to
42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3). For the reasons
set forth below, Claimant's motion for summary judgment
 is granted and the Commissioner's cross-motion 
for summary judgment is denied. The case is remanded for
further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.
filed for period of disability, disability insurance benefits
and disability for disabled widow's benefits on September
12, 2003. (R. 21.) Bishop alleges that she has been disabled
since September 5, 2013 due to inflammatory arthritis,
degenerative disc disease, a mixed connective tissue disease,
fibromyalgia, and depression. (R. 24-26.) Both of
Bishop's applications were initially denied on January 2,
2014, and upon reconsideration on June 23, 2014. (R. 21.) On
July 7, 2014, Bishop filed a request for a hearing.
(Id.) She appeared and testified at a hearing before
ALJ Roxanne J. Kelsey on August 25, 2015. (R. 21-31.) The ALJ
issued a decision denying Bishop's disability claim on
November 18, 2015. (R. 31.) On January 17, 2016, Bishop
requested review by the Appeals Council. (R. 6.) On May 25,
2016, the Appeals Council denied Bishop's request for
review, at which time the ALJ's decision became the final
decision of the Commissioner. (R. 1-3); Zurawski v.
Halter, 245 F.3d 881, 883 (7th Cir. 2001). Bishop
subsequently filed this action in the District Court.
Relevant Medical Evidence
Dr. Syed Rizvi - Rheumatologist
to her alleged disability onset date, Bishop had a number of
visits with Dr. Syed Rizvi, a rheumatologist. During these
early appointments, Claimant reported pain and stiffness in
many areas including her back (447-48, 462-63, 503), neck (R.
482-483), right arm (R. 480-81), wrists (Id., R.
484-85), hands (R. 473-74), fingers (R. 516), knees (R.
480-81, 484-85), and joints (R. 455-56). On July 14, 2012,
Dr. Rizvi gave Claimant a cortisone injection in her wrist.
(R. 471.) Over the course of several visits, Dr. Rizvi
diagnosed Claimant with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (R.
448, 479, 515), fibromyalgia (R. 501, 507, 531), meralgia
paresthetica (R. 501, 520, 534), idiopathic osteoporosis (R.
463, 501, 506), osteopenia (R. 448, 456, 501), osteoporosis
of the left hip (R. 463, 466, 515), cervical and lumbosacral
spondylosis (R. 448, 472, 515), unspecified internal
derangement of the left knee (R. 485, 520, 534), restless leg
syndrome (R. 448, 477, 516), and stage 3 chronic kidney
disease (R. 508, 526).
appointments with Dr. Rizvi after her alleged September 5,
2013 onset, Claimant reported that she continued to
experience pain in her neck, back, wrists, hands, joints, and
all over her body. (R. 391, 564, 604, 611, 637.) She also
reported that physical activity caused her pain to worsen.
(R. 391, 564, 620.) At various appointments, Dr. Rizvi
observed that Claimant had swelling and tenderness in the
wrists, joints, shoulders and thumb. (R. 391, 480-81, 471.)
Dr. Rizvi also observed that Claimant had full range of
motion in her cervical spine and neck, a bilateral complete
handgrip, and normal ambulation. (R. 481, 391-392.)
Dr. Sheila Berndt - Primary Care Physician
August of 2013, Claimant reported chronic constipation,
bloating, and abdominal pain to her primary care doctor, Dr.
Sheila Berndt. (R. 444.) A pelvic ultrasound demonstrated
fatty infiltration of Plaintiff's liver. (R. 433.) In
September of 2014, she reported feeling depressed, having
trouble sleeping, and experiencing anxiety. (R. 575.) She was
tearful during examination. (R. 576.) Dr. Berndt diagnosed
Claimant with depression, prescribed Sertraline and Zoloft,
and referred her to a therapist. (R. 576-77.) Dr. Berndt
again diagnosed her with depression in May of 2015. (R.
Dr. Mahesh Shah - Internal Medicine Consultative
2, 2014, Claimant underwent an internal medicine consultative
examination with Dr. Mahesh Shah, who noted that Claimant had
a mild tenderness in her lower back, mild swelling of the
joints and wrists, slight difficulty with heel and toe
walking, and trouble squatting. (R. 551-54.) Claimant
reported she was in good health until 2005 when she started
having pain in her hips which then spread to her joints. (R.
551.) She also reported significant pain in her shoulders.
(Id.) Dr. Shah noted that Claimant could walk into
the office without assistance, she was able to move around
with no problem, and she was able to get up from the chair
and onto the examining table without difficulty. (R. 552.)
Dr. Shah also noted full range of motion in all her joints
and upper extremities and normal handgrip. (R. 553-54.) Dr.
Shah diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis, mild fibromyalgia, and
mild depression. (R. 554.)