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Hansell v. Berryhill

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

August 14, 2018

JAMES JOE HANSELL, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN E. MARTIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by Plaintiff James Joe Hansell on March 16, 2017, and Plaintiff's Brief in Support of Reversing the Decision of the Commissioner of Social Security [DE 17], filed by Plaintiff on December 8, 2017. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for benefits or further proceedings. On January 22, 2018, the Commissioner filed a response, and on February 2, 2018, Plaintiff filed a reply.

         I. Procedural Background

         On July 2, 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits alleging that he became disabled on December 9, 1998. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. On May 20, 2015, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Janice Bruning held a video hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney representative, and a vocational expert testified. On December 17, 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 meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2014.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 30, 2002.[1]
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: learning disorder, borderline intellectual functioning, affective disorder, and anxiety disorder.
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 (“RFC”) to perform a full range of work at all exertional levels but with the following non-exertional limitations: he is able to understand, remember, and carry out simple, routine tasks, and perform the same tasks on a regular basis; and perform work involving no public contact and no more than occasional contact with co-workers and supervisors. Additionally, the claimant is able to perform work involving no hourly quotas, but he is capable of work that is measured by what is completed by the end of a workday; and he would benefit by having a supervisor check on him twice a day (once in the morning and once in the afternoon).
6. The claimant has no past relevant work.
7. The claimant was born on December 9, 1980 and was 18 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 an issue because the claimant does not have ...

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