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Graham v. Berryhill

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

March 28, 2017

ROSLINDE GRAHAM, 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 Roslinde Graham on March 16, 2016, and an Opening Brief of Plaintiff in Social Security Appeal Pursuant to L.R. 7.3 [DE 17], filed by Plaintiff on August 25, 2016. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On October 4, 2016, the Commissioner filed a response, and on December 13, 2016, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.

         I. Background

         In March 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits alleging that she became disabled on June 30, 2010. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. On May 20, 2014, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Janice M. Bruning held a video hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney, and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified. On August 8, 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. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2016.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 30, 2010, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has severe impairments: combination of obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, adjustment disorder, alcohol abuse and borderline intellectual functioning.
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 medium work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(c) and 416.967(c). However, claimant can never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds and can perform postural activities (i.e. climbing ramps/stairs, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, bending, twisting) only on an occasional basis. She is to have no public contact and no more than occasional contact with coworkers and supervisors. Claimant is limited to 1 to 3-step simple repeated routine tasks.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a housekeeper. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by her RFC.
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from June 30, 2010, through the date of the decision.

         On January 11, 2016, 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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