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Reed v. Berryhill

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

March 15, 2018

RANDALL REED, 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 Randall Reed on June 4, 2015, and Plaintiff's Brief in Support of Reversing the Decision of the Commissioner of Social Security [DE 18], filed by Plaintiff on July 10, 2017. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for benefits or further proceedings. On October 18, 2017, the Commissioner filed a response, and on November 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed a reply.

         I. Procedural Background

         On December 3, 2012, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits alleging that he became disabled on June 1, 2008. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. On December 10, 2014, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) William E. Sampson held a hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney representative, and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified. On February 25, 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 met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through March 31, 2012.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 1, 2008, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant had the following severe impairments: residuals from ankle fractures, degenerative joint disease of the left shoulder, degenerative disc disease of the spine, osteoarthritis, and hypertension.
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals any of the listed impairments in 20 CFR 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work, except that the claimant can lift and/or carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pound frequently, can sit up to six hours of an eight-hour workday, and can stand and/or walk up to six hours of an eight-hour workday. The claimant can occasionally climb ramps and stairs, but never ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. The claimant can occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, and crouch, but can never crawl. The claimant can occasionally fully extend his arms bilaterally. The claimant must avoid concentrated exposure to extreme cold. The claimant can occasionally perform flexion of the neck. Due to pain and side effects of pain medication, the claimant is limited to simple, routine, and repetitive tasks. The claimant requires a sit-stand option cut cannot go off-task when alternating positions.
6. The claimant is unable to perform past relevant work.
7. The claimant was 39 years old, defined as 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 the claimant is “not disabled, ” whether or not ...

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