United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Public Health — disability benefits
Where a disability claimant must lie down several times a day because of lower back pain, her disability claim was improperly denied.
“Faced with this evidence, the ALJ said only that, by taking over-the-counter medications, Roddy was able to remain self-sufficient and complete household chores, albeit by taking longer to do so. The ALJ criticized Roddy’s testimony because he found her statements from 2008 to be inconsistent with her testimony at her hearing in 2010. We do not see the conflict. By 2010, Roddy was fortunate enough to have a friend around to help with chores that she had described as causing her significant pain in 2008. Moreover, even if the ALJ’s characterization of Roddy’s statements was accurate, Roddy’s condition was degenerative, meaning that it was likely that she had more limitations in 2010 than she did in 2008. Roddy’s inability to get through the day without lying down three to four times for an hour, or to complete even simple chores requiring standing, like cooking, does not indicate an ability to work even a sedentary job full-time. See Moss, 555 F.3d at 562; Craft, 539 F.3d at 680; Mendez v. Barnhart, 439 F.3d 360, 362-63 (7th Cir. 2006). As this court has noted, ‘one does sedentary work sitting . . . but not lying down,’ and no employer is likely to hire a person who must stop working and lie down two or three times a day for an hour at a time, or who requires multiple days to complete tasks other employees might finish in one workday. Bjornson, 671 F.3d at 646, 648.”
Vacated and Remanded.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Pratt, J., Wood, J.