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Ryberg v. Colvin

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

August 29, 2016

HAYLEY MICHELLE RYBERG, 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 Hayley Michelle Ryberg on April 2, 2015, and Plaintiff's Brief in Support of Her Motion to Reverse the Decision of the Commissioner of Social Security [DE 16], filed by Plaintiff on October 14, 2015. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On February 16, 2016, the Commissioner filed a response, and on February 29, 2016, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.

         I. Procedural Background

         On January 24, 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for a period of disability and for disability insurance benefits with the U.S. Social Security Administration (“SSA”). Plaintiff claimed disability beginning October 10, 2012. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Plaintiff waived the right to testify at a hearing, and on October 22, 2013, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) William E. Sampson 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 December 31, 2016.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 10, 2012, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant had the following medically determinable impairments: headaches, vertigo, a sensory disorder, syncopal episodes, transient altered mental status, convulsions, dizziness, blurry vision, motor restlessness, fibromyalgia, generalized muscle aches, obesity, anxiety, and panic disorder.
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that has significantly limited or is expected to significantly limit the ability to perform basic work-related activities for 12 consecutive months; therefore, the claimant does not have a severe impairment or combination of impairments.
5. The claimant has not been under a disability as defined in the Social Security Act from October 10, 2012, through the date of the decision.

         The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, leaving the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner.

         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).

         II. Facts

         Plaintiff, who is obese, has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and anxiety. She suffers from headaches, seizure activity, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, and nervousness. State agency consultants who reviewed Plaintiff's medical records concluded that her fibromyalgia is a severe impairment and that her anxiety disorder is a medically determinable impairment, although not severe within the ...


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