United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by
Plaintiff Vicky Trigg Fields on January 20, 2016, and
Plaintiff's Opening Brief [DE 16], filed by Plaintiff on
July 15, 2016. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the
Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further
proceedings. On October 21, 2016, the Commissioner filed a
response, and on November 18, 2016, Plaintiff filed a reply.
For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's
request for remand.
24, 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits
alleging that she became disabled on March 17, 2010.
Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. On May 15, 2015, Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) Margaret Carey held a hearing at which
Plaintiff, with an attorney, and a vocational expert
(“VE”) testified. On June 26, 2015, the ALJ
issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.
made the following findings under the required five-step
1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the application date.
2. The claimant has severe impairments: osteoarthritis of the
neck, obesity, chronic cystitis, degenerative joint disease
of the shoulder, hip, knee, and degenerative disc disease of
3. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one the listed impairments in 20 CFR 404, Subpart P, Appendix
4. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to lift
and carry up to 20 pounds occasionally, 10 pounds frequently,
stand and/or walk about 6 hours in an 8-hour workday, and sit
about 6 hours in an 8-hour workday with normal breaks. The
claimant must never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds but
may occasionally climb ramps and stairs, balance, stoop,
kneel, crouch, or crawl. She is limited to work that is only
occasionally exposed to unprotected heights, moving
mechanical parts, and operation of a motor vehicle, and she
can only work occasionally in environments of slippery or
uneven surfaces. As a result of the claimant's bladder
issues, she must be allowed 5-minute breaks every two hours
which can be accommodated by routine breaks, for the use of
the restroom. The claimant must be allowed a sit/stand option
such that after 1 hour of standing the claimant could sit but
not be off task and then sit for an hour and stand back up.
She is limited to only occasional overhead reaching with the
left upper extremity. Finally, the claimant is limited to
simple, routine, and repetitive work in low-stress
environments with only occasional decision-making.
5. The claimant is unable to perform any of her past relevant
6. The claimant was a younger individual age 18-49 on the
date the application was filed.
7. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English.
8. Transferability of job skills is not material to the
determiation of disability because using the
Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding
that the claimant is “not disabled, ” whether or
not she has transferable job skills.
9. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national ...