United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by
Plaintiff Lee Eckhart on June 6, 2017, and Plaintiff's
Brief in Support of His Motion to Reverse the Decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security [DE 15], filed by Plaintiff
on October 27, 2017. Plaintiff requests that the decision of
the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for
benefits or further proceedings. On December 7, 2017, the
Commissioner filed a response, and on December 20, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a reply.
January 14, 2014, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits
alleging that he became disabled on November 1, 2010.
Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. On June 17, 2016, Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) William E. Sampson held a video hearing
at which Plaintiff, with an attorney representative, and a
vocational expert testified. On July 7, 2016, the ALJ issued
a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.
made the following findings under the required five-step
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2011.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since November 1, 2010, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
degenerative disc disease of lumbar spine and cervical spine,
bi-polar disorder, anxiety, an adjustment disorder and drug
and alcohol abuse.
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 404, Subpart P,
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work
as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) with
exceptions. Specifically, the claimant is able to lift up to
20 pounds occasionally and up to 10 pounds frequently, stand
and/or walk up to 6 hours in an 8-hour workday and sit up to
6 hours in an 8-hour workday. He is never to climb ladders,
ropes, or scaffolds, but is occasionally able to climb ramps
and stairs and balance, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl.
Mentally, he is limited to simple, routine and repetitive
tasks. He is able to have occasional interaction with his
co-workers and supervisors and is to have no interaction with
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was 31 years old, which is defined as a
younger individual age 18-49, on the alleged disability onset
8. The claimant has a marginal 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, ” ...