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Hunt v. Colvin

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

March 17, 2015

GREGORY HUNT, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

JOHN E. MARTIN, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by Gregory Hunt on December 13, 2013, and Plaintiff's Brief in Support of His Motion To Reverse the Decision of the Commissioner of Social Security [DE 17], filed by Plaintiff on May 6, 2014. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On August 23, 2014, the Commissioner filed a response, and on September 8, 2014, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On June 29, 2011, Plaintiff filed an application for disability insurance benefits ("DIB") with the U.S. Social Security Administration ("SSA") alleging that he became disabled on June 22, 2011. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. On April 10, 2013, Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") William E. Sampson held a hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney, and a Vocational Expert ("VE") testified. On May 16, 2013, the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff was not disabled. The ALJ's decision became the Commissioner's final decision when the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review on October 21, 2013. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.981. Under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), Plaintiff initiated this civil action for judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision.

The ALJ made the following findings under the required five-step analysis:

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 29, 2011, the application date (20 CFR § 416.971 et seq.).
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: coronary artery disease; status post stent placement; hypertension; obesity and a history of alcohol abuse (20 CFR § 416.920(c)).
3. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meet or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR § Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 416.920(d), 416.925, and 416.926).
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has a the residual functional capacity to perform less than the full range of medium work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(c). The claimant could lift/carry and push/pull occasionally 50 pounds and frequently 25 pounds; sit for a total of about six hours in an eight-hour workday and stand/walk for a total of about six hours in an eight-hour workday. The claimant could frequently climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl.
5. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a dump truck driver (DOT 902.683-010) (unskilled SVP 2, medium). The work does not require the performance of work activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity.
6. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, since June 29, 2011, the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.920(f)).

The parties filed forms of consent to have this case assigned to a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct all further proceedings and to order the entry of a final judgment in this case. Therefore, this Court has jurisdiction to decide this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

FACTS

Plaintiff was 57 years-old on the alleged onset date of disability. Plaintiff suffers from obesity, coronary artery disease, status post stent placement, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, osteoarthritis and anxiety. In June 2011, Plaintiff suffered a heart attack. Dr. J. Sands conducted a state agency review in November 2011 in which he found Plaintiff could occasionally lift fifty pounds, could frequently lift twenty five pounds, could stand, walk, and/or sit about six hours in an eight hour workday. In December 2012, Plaintiff had to stop a treadmill exercise test, apparently due to limited exercise ...


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