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Turner v. Berryhill

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

March 13, 2018

DANIELLE MARIE TURNER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN E. MARTIN MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by Plaintiff Danielle Marie Turner on February 22, 2017, and Plaintiff's Opening Brief [DE 15], filed by Plaintiff on June 19, 2017. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On July 18, 2017, the Commissioner filed a response, and on August 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.

         I. Background

         On May 29, 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits alleging that she became disabled on April 9, 2012. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. After a hearing on June 3, 2015, at which Plaintiff, with an attorney, and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Margaret Carey issued a decision on June 26, 2015, finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.

         The ALJ made the following findings under the required five-step analysis:

1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2017.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 9, 2012, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has severe impairments: affective disorders (depression, bipolar), anxiety disorders (posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety), a personality disorder, and status post fractures of her feet and ankle.
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 1.
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except: she can occasionally climb ramps and stairs, but she can never crawl or climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. The claimant cannot have any exposure to unprotected heights, moving mechanical parts, or slippery wet surfaces, and only occasional exposure to vibration and wetness. She is further limited to simple, routine task involving only simple work-related decisions, and requiring a break every two hours that can be accommodated by normal breaks and lunch. She is also limited to no interaction with the public, only occasional interaction with coworkers with no tandem tasks, and only occasional interaction with supervisors.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was a younger individual age 18-49 on the alleged disability onset date.
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, ” ...

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