United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
JOHN W. MCKINNEY, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.
ENTRY REVIEWING THE COMMISSIONER'S DECISION
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.
Plaintiff John McKinney protectively applied for disability, disability insurance, and supplemental security income from the Social Security Administration ("SSA") on July 21, 2011, alleging a disability onset date of March 8, 2011. His applications were denied on September 13, 2011, and denied again after reconsideration on October 6, 2011. A hearing was held on August 30, 2012 in front of Administrative Law Judge Joseph L. Brinkley (the "ALJ"), who subsequently determined that Mr. McKinney was not entitled to receive benefits. [Filing No. 12-2 at 23-30.] The Appeals Council denied review, [Filing No. 12-2 at 2-5], making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's "final decision" subject to judicial review. Mr. McKinney has filed this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), asking the Court to review his denial of benefits. [Filing No. 1.]
Mr. McKinney was forty-six years old as of his alleged onset date. [Filing No. 12-5 at 2.] Previously, he had worked on a factory assembly line assembling electrical and circuit boxes for homes. [Filing No. 12-2 at 44-45.] Mr. McKinney claims he has been disabled since March 8, 2011. [Filing No. 12-5 at 2.]
Using the five-step sequential evaluation set forth by the SSA in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520, the ALJ issued an opinion on September 15, 2012. [Filing No. 12-2 at 23-30.] The ALJ found as follows:
At Step One of the analysis, the ALJ found that Mr. McKinney had not engaged in substantial gainful activity after the alleged disability onset date. [Filing No. 12-2 at 25.]
At Step Two, the ALJ found that Mr. McKinney suffered from the severe impairments of coronary artery disease status post stent placement and heart attack, peripheral vascular artery disease, hypertension, and obesity. [Filing No. 12-2 at 25-26.]
At Step Three, the ALJ found that Mr. McKinney did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled one of the listed impairments. [Filing No. 12-2 at 26.] The ALJ concluded that Mr. McKinney had the residual functional capacity ("RFC") to perform light work, except he "can never climb ladders/ropes/scaffolds; can occasionally climb stairs, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl; must avoid concentrated exposure to workplace hazards such as dangerous machinery and unprotected heights; must avoid concentrated exposure to extreme heat, extreme cold, wetness, humidity, dusts, fumes, gases, odors, etc.; needs a sit/stand option in addition to regularly scheduled breaks (can sit a total of 6 hours in a workday but can sit for 1 hour at a time, then must stand and walk 40 feet before returning to a sitting position; and can stand/walk in 45 minute intervals, for a total of 6 hours in an 8-hour workday)." [Filing No. 12-2 at 26-28.]
At Step Four, the ALJ found that Mr. McKinney was not able to perform his past relevant work as a brick layer helper, small products assembler, landscape laborer, plumber helper, or pallet builder because these types of work are precluded by Mr. McKinney's RFC. [Filing No. 12-2 at 28.]
At Step Five, the ALJ found that considering Mr. McKinney's age, education, work experience, and RFC, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that he can perform. Specifically, the ALJ found Mr. McKinney would be capable of working as a small product assembler,  parking lot attendant, or shipping/receiving weigher. [Filing No. 12-2 at 29.]
Based on these findings, the ALJ concluded that Mr. McKinney was not disabled and was not entitled to disability benefits or supplemental security income. [Filing No. 12-2 at 29-30.] Mr. McKinney requested that the Appeals Council review the ALJ's decision, but the Council denied that request on October 6, 2011. [Filing No. 12-2 at 2-4.] That decision is the final decision of the Commissioner for purposes of judicial review, and Mr. McKinney subsequently sought relief from this Court. [Filing No. 1.]
STANDARD OF ...