United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by
Plaintiff on June 3, 2016, and Plaintiff's Brief in
Support of Reversing the Decision of the Commissioner of
Social Security [DE 16], filed on November 14, 2016.
Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative
Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
On January 18, 2017, the Commissioner filed a response, and
on February 7, 2017, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the
following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request
February 26, 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for
benefits alleging that she became disabled on August 3, 2012.
Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. On February 11, 2015, Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) Christopher Helms held a hearing at
which Plaintiff, with an attorney representative, a
vocational expert (“VE”), and two of
Plaintiff's family members testified. On February 26,
2015, the ALJ issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was
not disabled. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's
request for review, leaving the ALJ's decision the final
decision of the Commissioner.
made the following findings under the required five-step
1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since her alleged onset date of August 3, 2012.
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
seizures; degenerative disk disease of the cervical and
lumbar spine; migraines; fibromyalgia; anxiety; and
3. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P,
4. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to
perform sedentary work, sitting for six hours and standing or
walking for two hours in an eight-hour workday and
occasionally lifting or carrying up to ten pounds, with the
following limitations: she cannot climb ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds; she is limited to simple, routine, repetitive
tasks and occasional contact with the public; and she must
avoid exposure to moving mechanical parts and unprotected
5. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
6. The claimant was 32 years old, which is defined as a
younger individual age 18-44, on the date the application was
7. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English.
8. 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” whether or
not the claimant has transferable job skills.
9. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national ...