United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
CHARLES N. JOHNSON III, 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 Charles Johnson on July 27, 2016, and the Social
Security Opening Brief of Plaintiff [DE 19], filed on January
13, 2017. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the
Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further
proceedings. On April 20, 2017, the Commissioner filed a
response, and on May 5, 2017, Plaintiff filed a reply. For
the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's
request for remand.
October 1, 2012, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits
alleging that he became disabled on May 1, 2009.
Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. On June 27, 2014, Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) Edward P. Studzinski held a hearing at
which Plaintiff, with an attorney, and a vocational expert
(“VE”) testified. On September 24, 2014, the ALJ
issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.
made the following findings under the required five-step
1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through June 30, 2015.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since May 1, 2009, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has severe impairments: vasovagul syncope,
chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and obesity.
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
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) except he can occasionally climb ramps or
stairs; never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds;
occasionally stoop, kneel, and crouch, and frequently crawl.
The claimant cannot drive at work, and he cannot work around
unprotected heights, exposed flames, or unguarded bodies of
water. He cannot have concentrated exposure to unguarded
hazardous machinery. He should have no more than moderate
exposure to pulmonary irritants, meaning that exposure cannot
be concentrated or prolonged.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as an inspector general and as a purchasing clerk. 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 1, 2009, through the
date of the decision.
15, 2016, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request
for review, leaving the ALJ's decision the final decision
of the Commissioner.
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