United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by
Plaintiff James R. Murphy on August 10, 2016, and the
Plaintiff's Brief in Support of His Motion to Reverse the
Decision of the Commissioner of Social Security [DE 9], filed
by Plaintiff on December 27, 2016. Plaintiff requests that
the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed with
an award of benefits or remanded for further proceedings. On
April 6, 2017, the Commissioner filed a response, and on
April 20, 2017, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following
reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.
February 5, 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits
alleging that he became disabled on May 31, 2011.
Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. On November 10, 2014, Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) Lorenzo Level held a hearing at
which Plaintiff, with an attorney, and a vocational expert
(“VE”) testified. On January 28, 2015, 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 December 31, 2016.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the alleged onset date of May 31, 2011.
3. The claimant has had severe impairments of degenerative
disc disease and degenerative joint disease of the knees.
4. Since the alleged onset date, the claimant has not had 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 to
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 20
CFR 416.967(b) except he can never climb ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds, can only occasionally climb ramps and stairs, and
is limited to no more than occasional stooping, kneeling,
crouching, and crawling. He must also avoid concentrated
exposure to extreme cold and vibrations.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as a tool room operator as actually performed. This work did
not require the performance of work-related activities
precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity.
7. Because he could perform past relevant work as performed,
the claimant was not under a disability, as defined in the
Social Security Act, from his alleged onset date through the
date of the ALJ's opinion.
14, 2016, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request
for review, leaving the ALJ's decision the final decision
of the Commissioner. See 20 C.F.R. §§
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