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Whatley v. Berryhill

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

August 20, 2018

ELAINE WHATLEY for her minor child M.W., Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner for 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 Elaine Whatley for her minor child M.W. on April 27, 2017, and Plaintiff's Opening Social Security Brief [DE 15], filed October 2, 2017. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On October 30, 2017, the Commissioner filed a response, and on November 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.

         I. Background

         In an earlier decision dated August 29, 2005, Plaintiff was found to be disabled as of May 1, 2005, and on May 10, 2012, it was found that the now-eleven-year-old was no longer disabled as of May 1, 2012. Plaintiff requested a hearing, and on March 26, 2015, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) John K. Kraybill held a video hearing at which Plaintiff, Plaintiff's mother, a medical expert (“ME”), and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified. On June 8, 2015, the ALJ issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.

         The ALJ made the following findings:

1. The most recent favorable medical decision finding that the claimant was disabled is the decision dated August 29, 2005. This is known as the “comparison point decision” or CPD.
2. At the time of the CPD, the claimant had the following medically determinable impairments: speech and language delays, ADHD, learning difficulties, mild mental retardation, and conduct disorder. These impairments were found to functionally equal the listings. (20 CFR 416.954(d) and 416.926(a)).
3. Medical improvement occurred as of May 1, 2012.
4. The claimant is currently a school-age child.
5. Since May 1, 2012, the impairments that the claimant had at the time of the CPD have not functionally equaled the Listings of Impairments.
6. The medical and other evidence establish that the claimant did not have an impairment at the CPD that was cot considered at that time and has not developed any additional impairments subsequent to the CPD.
7. Since May 1, 2012, the claimant has not had an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impariments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
8. Since May 1, 2012, the claimant has not had an impairment or combination of impairments that functionally equals the Listings.
9. The claimant's disability ended as of May 1, 2012, and the claimant has not become disabled ...

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