O'Connor-Spinner v. Colvin, No. 15-2567 (7th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
O’Connor-Spinner, age 47, suffers from depression and several physical impairments, including degenerative disk disease, bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, sleep apnea, “restrictive lung disease,” and obesity. Several times since 2001 she has applied for Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income. In 2010, the Seventh Circuit invalidated the Social Security Administration’s denial of her 2004 request for benefits, noting that the ALJ had not asked a testifying vocational expert to assess how O’Connor-Spinner’s employment prospects would be affected by her moderate limitation on concentration, persistence, and pace, and had ignored a psychologist’s opinion that O’Connor-Spinner also faces a moderate limitation on her ability to accept instructions from, and respond appropriately to, supervisors. On remand, a different ALJ contradicted his colleague and declared that O’Connor-Spinner’s depression is not, and never was a severe impairment. The Seventh Circuit again vacated and remanded, stating that the medical evidence contradicts the ALJ’s assertion. The court noted symptoms including recurring agitation, impulsivity, fatigue, crying spells, and two or three “explosive episodes” weekly involving violent behavior and memory blackouts.