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Doyle v. Colvin

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

September 26, 2016

DONALD EUGENE DOYLE III, 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 Donald Eugene Doyle III on September 15, 2015, and Plaintiff's Social Security Opening Brief in Support of Judgment or Remand to the Commissioner [DE 15], filed by Plaintiff on February 25, 2016. Plaintiff asks the Court to reverse and remand the Commissioner's decision for further proceedings. On June 2, 2016, the Commissioner filed a response, and on June 15, 2016, Plaintiff filed a reply.

         I. Procedural Background

         On August 27, 2011, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits alleging that he became disabled on September 1, 2008. Plaintiff's application was initially denied and was denied again on reconsideration. On February 11, 2014, Plaintiff and his attorney appeared before Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) David R. Bruce. Plaintiff, Plaintiff's wife, and a vocational expert testified. On March 19, 2014, the ALJ issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.

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

1. Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2013.
2. Plaintiff did not engage in substantial gainful activity from September 1, 2008, the alleged onset date, through his date last insured.
3. Through the date last insured, Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease and Klippel-Feil syndrome.
4. Through the date last insured, Plaintiff 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. Through the date last insured, Plaintiff had the residual functional capacity to perform the full range of sedentary work.
6. Through the date last insured, Plaintiff was unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. Plaintiff was a younger individual on the date last insured.
8. Plaintiff 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 applying the Medical-Vocational Rules directly supports a finding of “not disabled, ” whether ...

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