United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
BARBARA A. HENSLEY, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by
Plaintiff Barbara A. Henley on July 8, 2016, and
Plaintiff's Opening Brief in a Social Security Matter [DE
13], filed by Plaintiff on November 21, 2016. Plaintiff
requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be
reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On February
24, 2017, the Commissioner filed a response, and on March 14,
2017, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following reasons, the
Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.
10, 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits
alleging that she became disabled on October 1, 2009.
Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. On February 20, 2015, Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) Christopher Helms held a hearing at
which Plaintiff, with an attorney, Plaintiff's husband,
and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified. On
March 9, 2015, the ALJ issued a decision finding that
Plaintiff was not disabled.
made the following findings under the required five-step
1. The claimant last met the insured status of the Social
Security Act on December 31, 2011.
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful
activity during the period from her alleged onset date of
October 1, 2009, through her date last insured of December
3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had severe
impairments: “low grade” cervical spondylosis and
cervical radiculopathy, degenerative disc disease of the
lumbar spine and obesity.
4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have
an impairment or combination of impairments that met or
medically equaled the severity of one the listed impairments
in 20 CFR 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
5. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the
residual functional capacity to lift and carry up to 10
pounds occasionally and nominal weight frequently, stand
and/or walk about 2 hours in an 8-hour workday, and sit about
6 hours in an 8-hour workday. The claimant could never climb
ladders, ropes, or scaffolds but may occasionally climb ramps
and stairs, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. She was
limited to occasional overhead reaching bilaterally and was
to avoid concentrated exposure to cold/heat, wetness,
humidity, and pulmonary irritants. She could perform handling
6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was unable to
perform any of her past relevant work.
7. The claimant was a younger individual age 18-44 on the
date last insured.
8. The claimant 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 using the
Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding
that the claimant is “not disabled, ” ...