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Vinzani v. Berryhill

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

March 28, 2017

DAVID J. VINZANI, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN E. MARTIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         This matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by Plaintiff David Vinzani on February 17, 2016, and Plaintiff's Opening Brief [DE 16], filed by Plaintiff on July 20, 2016. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On September 30, 2016, the Commissioner filed a response, and on October 14, 2016, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.

         I. Background

         On November 11, 2012, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits alleging that he became disabled on May 26, 2011. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. On October 23, 2014, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Romona Scales held a hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney, and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified. On March 27, 2015, the ALJ issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.

         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, 2016.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since May 26, 2011, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has severe impairments: degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine and history of right total hip arthroplasty.
4. 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 1.
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) in that he can lift and/or carry up to 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently, can stand and/or walk about 6 hours and sit for about 6 hours in an 8-hour workday. The claimant can frequently balance, kneel, and crouch, and can occasionally stoop, crawl, and climb ramps and stairs. He must never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds and must avoid concentrated exposure to slippery, wet, or uneven surfaces and hazards such as dangerous moving machinery and unprotected heights.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a gate guard. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's RFC.
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from May 26, 2011, through the date of this decision.

         On December 14, 2015, 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 ...


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