Summers v. Berryhill, No. 16-3849 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Summers was fired from her job as an Elkhart, Indiana production-line worker. She applied for disability insurance benefits, alleging that she became disabled on the date she was fired. The Social Security Administration denied the application. Summers attended a hearing with counsel and testified that she was unable to work because of headaches, difficulty breathing, atrial fibrillation, and dizziness with blackouts. She submitted medical evidence that she suffered from depression, anxiety, obesity, and sleep apnea. Summers made several inconsistent statements during the hearing, mostly about her work history and her use of drugs and alcohol. A Vocational Expert testified that a hypothetical individual who was limited to a restricted range of light work could perform Summers’s past job as an assembler, as well as other jobs (inspector, hand packager, photocopy machine operator, and palletizer) that exist in significant numbers in the national economy. The ALJ concluded that Summers retained the Residual Functional Capacity to perform a substantially limited range of light work; that Summers was not entirely credible; and that Summers was not disabled from the time of her alleged onset date through the date of the ALJ’s decision. The Appeals Council, the district court, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed the denial as supported by substantial evidence.