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Parker v. Colvin

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

August 22, 2016

PIER ANGELA PARKER, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN E. MARTIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by Plaintiff Pier Angela Parker on August 25, 2015, and a Brief in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment [DE 18], filed by Plaintiff on February 11, 2016. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On May 17, 2016, the Commissioner filed a response, and on June 15, 2016, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff’s request for remand.

         I. Procedural Background

         Plaintiff filed an application for disability insurance benefits and for supplemental security income with the U.S. Social Security Administration (“SSA”) alleging that she became disabled on August 15, 2009. Plaintiff’s application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. On September 19, 2014, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) William E. Sampson held a hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney, and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified. On February 11, 2015, 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, 2015.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since February 3, 2012.
3. The claimant had severe impairments: obesity, asthma, dextroscoliosis of the thoracic spine, fibromyalgia, chronic diverticulitis and borderline intellectual functioning.
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 .
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to lift and carry up to 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently, stand and/or walk for about 6 hours of an 8 hour workday and sit for about 6 hours of an 8 hour workday. She is occasionally able to climb ramps/stairs, balance, stoop, crouch, kneel, and crawl. She should avoid concentrated exposure to heat, extreme cold, and wet, slippery, or uneven services, and pulmonary irritants. The claimant should avoid concentrated exposure to workplace hazards such as dangerous machinery and unprotected heights. She is limited to simple, routine, and repetitive tasks and would require a job with a flexible pace. She would be able to perform a job with production pace work, such as an assembly line.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was 50 years old, defined as an individual closely approaching advanced age, on the amended disability onset date.
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English.
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.
10. Considering the claimant’s age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national ...

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