United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Urbana Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
I. LONG, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Princess J., proceeding pro se, seeks review under
42 U.S.C. §405(g) of the Social Security
Administration's denial of her application for
children's supplemental security income on behalf of her
son, ZJB. The parties filed cross motions for summary
judgment. For the reasons explained below, the Court
recommends that Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment
(#15) be DENIED,
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
(#17) be GRANTED, and the
decision to deny benefits be affirmed.
12, 2014, Plaintiff filed an application for children's
supplemental security income, on behalf of her son, alleging
disability as of July 1, 2009. The Social Security
Administration denied Plaintiff's claims initially and on
reconsideration. Plaintiff, her mother, and ZJB appeared and
testified at a video hearing before an Administrative Law
Judge (ALJ). The ALJ informed Plaintiff of the benefits of
obtaining a lawyer, but Plaintiff waived her right to be
represented by an attorney. (R. 87-88.)
February 1, 2017, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision. (R.
61-77.) The ALJ found that ZJB has the severe impairment of
asthma. (R. 64.) The ALJ determined that Plaintiff does not
have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets
or medically equals the severity of one of the listed
impairments, or that functionally equals the severity of the
listings and was not disabled. (R. 64.) The Appeals Council
denied Plaintiff's request for review, making the
ALJ's ruling the Commissioner's final decision.
Standard of Review
court reviews a decision denying benefits to determine only
whether the ALJ applied the correct legal standards and
whether substantial evidence supports the ALJ's decision.
Jelinek v. Astrue, 662 F.3d 805, 811 (7th Cir.
2011). Substantial evidence means “such relevant
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion.” Walker v. Berryhill,
900 F.3d 479, 482 (7th Cir. 2018) (quoting Richardson v.
Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971)). When reviewing the
administrative record, the Court does not “reweigh the
evidence or substitute [its] judgment for that of the
ALJ.” Chavez v. Berryhill, 895 F.3d 962, 968
(7th Cir. 2018).
differently, if reasonable minds could differ as to whether
Plaintiff is disabled, the Court must uphold the ALJ's
decision to deny benefits. Shideler v. Astrue, 688
F.3d 306, 310 (7th Cir. 2012). Importantly, “the ALJ
must ‘build a logical bridge from the evidence to his
conclusion, but he need not provide a complete written
evaluation of every piece of testimony and
evidence.'” Id. (quoting Schmidt v.
Barnhart, 395 F.3d 737, 744 (7th Cir. 2005).
Motion, in its entirety, reads:
I the plaintiff, Princess Jenkins am asking for a rehearing
or a final decision and I'm asking that you reconsider
the decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration denying my child of disability benefits.
In conclusion, I'm asking the court to enter judgment in
Motion for Summary Judgment (#15).
Court grants pro se plaintiffs wide latitude in
presenting their cases. Moore v. Godinez, 2010 WL
3718599 (N.D. Ill. Sept 10, 2010). But, ...