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Smith v. Berryhill

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

March 5, 2018

JACOB D. SMITH, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN E. MARTIN JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by Plaintiff on November 23, 2016, and Plaintiff's Opening Brief [DE 14], filed by Plaintiff on March 29, 2017. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On July 10, 2017, the Commissioner filed a response, and Plaintiff replied on July 24, 2017. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.

         I. Background

         In May 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits alleging that he became disabled on December 30, 2008. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. On April 26, 2015, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Jason C. Earnhart held a hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney, Plaintiff's grandmother, and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified. On April 13, 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 had not yet attained age 22 as of December 30, 2008, the alleged onset date.
2. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through March 31, 2010.
3. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since December 30, 2008, the alleged onset date.
4. Prior to attaining age 22, and continuing through the date of this decision, the claimant has the following severe impairments: spinal disorder, obesity, and multiple mental health impairments, including depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, ADHD, and schizoaffective disorder.
5. Prior to attaining age 22, and continuing through the date of the decision, the claimant did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equalled any of the listed impairments in 20 CFR 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
6. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform medium work except that he is limited to simple, routine, and repetitive tasks with no fast production pace work or tandem tasks; the claimant is never able to interact with the public and he is limited to no more than occasional interaction with supervisors and coworkers.
7. The claimant has no past relevant work.
8. The claimant was 20 years old, defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the alleged ...

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