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Martinez-Avila v. Berryhill

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

May 17, 2018

ENRIQUE MARTINEZ-AVILA, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          PAUL R. CHERRY MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This 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.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On 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, Appendix 1.
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 ...

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