United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by
Plaintiff Michael Bulla on June 4, 2015, and Plaintiff's
Brief in Support of his Motion to Reverse the Decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security [DE 18], filed by Plaintiff
on November 25, 2015. Plaintiff requests that the decision of
the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for
further proceedings. On March 1, 2016, the Commissioner filed
a response, and on March 10, 2016, Plaintiff filed a reply.
For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's
request for remand.
November 16, 2011, Plaintiff filed an application for
benefits alleging that he became disabled on December 30,
2008. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and
upon reconsideration. On January 30, 2014, Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) Patricia Witkowski Superman held a
video hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney
representative, and a vocational expert (“VE”)
testified. On February 12, 2014, the ALJ issued a decision
finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.
made the following findings under the required five-step
1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2008.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since December 30, 2008, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant had the following severe impairments: morbid
obesity, degenerative joint disease of the shoulders
bilaterally, degenerative disc disease, and adjustment
disorder with depressed mood.
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.
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to
perform light work except that the claimant can occasionally
climb ramps and stairs, but never ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds. The claimant can occasionally balance and stoop,
but can never kneel, crouch, or crawl. The Claimant can
frequently reach in al directions, including overhead, with
the bilateral upper extremities. The claimant can tolerate
occasional exposure to wetness, vibration, fumes, and hazards
such as moving machinery, but cannot be around unprotected
heights. The claimant cannot ambulate on slippery or uneven
surfaces. The claimant is limited to unskilled work tasks
that can be learned by demonstration or less of a simple,
repetitive, and routine nature. He is limited to occasional
contact with the general public of an incidental and
superficial nature, as well as occasional interaction with
supervisors and coworkers. He is further limited to
occasional decision-making and occasional changes in the work
setting. The claimant cannot meet fast pace or strict
production quotas, but can meet production goals.
6. The claimant has no past relevant work.
7. The claimant was 47 years old, defined as a younger
individual, on the alleged disability onset date, and
subsequently changed age category to closely approaching
8. The claimant has a limited education and is able to
communicate in English.
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the
determination of disability because the claimant does not