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Hartman v. Colvin

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

March 26, 2015

LISA ANNE HARTMAN, 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 Plaintiff Lisa Anne Hartman on November 13, 2013, and a Memorandum in Opposition to Secretary's Decision Denying Plaintiff's Claim for Benefits and Request for Remand [DE 17], filed by Plaintiff on May 22, 2014. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On September 4, 2014, the Commissioner filed a response, and on September 29, 2014, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On November 22, 2010, Plaintiff filed an application for disability insurance benefits ("DIB") and for supplemental security income ("SSI") with the U.S. Social Security Administration ("SSA") alleging that she became disabled on August 8, 2010. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. On November 2, 2012, Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Angelita Hamilton held a hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney, and a vocational expert ("VE") testified. On December 17, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.

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

1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through March 31, 2014.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since August 8, 2010, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq. ).
3. The claimant had severe impairments: asthma, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals any of the listed impairments in 20 CFR 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform less than light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b). The claimant can lift and carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. The claimant is limited to occasional exposure to wetness and humidity, excessive noise, vibration, and environmental irritants such as fumes odors, dusts and gases, and can never be exposed to hazards. The claimant is limited to simple, routine, and repetitive tasks and can only perform low stress work, defined as occasional interaction with coworkers, supervisors, and the public.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.2565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was 43 years old, defined as a younger individual age 18-49 on the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964).
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the determination of disability because the Medical-Vocational Rules support a finding that the claimant is not disabled (20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant could perform (20 CFR 404.1569, 1569(a), 416.969, and 416.969(a)).
11. The claimant has not been under a disability as defined in the Social Security Act from August 8, 2010, through the date of the decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).

On October 15, 2013, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, leaving the ALJ's decision the ...


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