United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
NICOLE E. LONG, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, sued as Carolyn W. Colvin, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by
Plaintiff on November 2, 2015, and on Plaintiff's Opening
Brief in a Social Security Matter [DE 16], filed by Plaintiff
on March 23, 2016. The Commissioner filed a response to
Plaintiff's brief on June 29, 2016, and Plaintiff filed a
reply on July 13, 2016.
2012, Plaintiff applied for disability insurance benefits
with the United States Social Security Administration
(“SSA”), alleging that she had become disabled as
of April 2, 2010. Plaintiff later amended her onset date to
January 14, 2012. Plaintiff's claim was denied initially
and on reconsideration. On March 18, 2014, Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) Christa Zamora held a hearing at
which Plaintiff, represented by counsel, and a vocational
expert (“VE”) testified. On April 8, 2014, the
ALJ issued a decision denying Plaintiff benefits on the
ground that Plaintiff was not disabled.
opinion, the ALJ made the following findings under the
required five-step analysis:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2017.
2. The claimant had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since January 14, 2012, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant had the following severe impairments: lupus;
carpal tunnel syndrome; arthritis; degenerative disc disease;
hyperthyroidism; rheumatoid arthritis; deppresive disorder;
anxiety disorder; and somatoform disorder.
4. The claimant did not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that met or medically equaled any of the listed
impairments in 20 CFR 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
5. The claimant had the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform light work, except that she is
limited to the performance of simple routine tasks and simple
work related decisions.
6. The claimant was unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. As of the alleged disability onset date, the claimant was
40 years old, which is defined as a younger individual.
8. The clamant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English.
9. Transferability of job skills was immaterial to the
disability determination because Plaintiff was “not
disabled” under the Medical-Vocational rules
irrespective of whether she had transferable job skills.
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national ...