United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
R. CHERRY MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by
Plaintiff Enrique Martinez-Avila on February 10, 2017, and
Plaintiff's Brief in Support of Reversing the Decision of
the Commissioner of Social Security [DE 15], filed by
Plaintiff on August 1, 2017. Plaintiff requests that the
Court reverse and remand for further proceedings the November
10, 2015 decision of the Administrative Law Judge denying him
disability insurance benefits. For the following reasons, the
Court grants Plaintiff's request.
August 1, 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for disability
insurance benefits, alleging disability. Plaintiff has
amended his alleged onset date of disability to July 1, 2013.
The claim was denied initially and on reconsideration. On
June 4, 2015, a hearing was held before Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) Janice M. Bruning. Present at the
hearing were Plaintiff, his attorney, and an impartial
vocational expert. The ALJ issued a written decision on
November 10, 2015, concluding that Plaintiff was not disabled
based on the following findings:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2018.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since July 1, 2013, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
obesity; degenerative changes in the left knee; status post
right knee surgery; status post back surgery; asthma;
hypertension and history of coronary artery disease; diabetes
mellitus with neuropathy; and hyperlipidemia.
4. 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,
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 404.1567(b) except never climb ladders, ropes or
scaffolding; no more than occasionally climb ramps and
stairs, balance, stoop, crouch, kneel, crawl, bend, twist; be
afforded sit-stand option allowing to stand 1-2 minutes after
sitting 30 minutes; avoid concentrated exposure to lung
irritants and work hazards such as unprotected heights and
dangerous moving machinery; and be allowed to use a cane as
needed to get to and from the work station.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was born [in 1970] and was 43 years old,
which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44, 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, ” whether or
not the claimant has transferable job skills.
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that the claimant can perform.
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from July 1, 2013, through ...