United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
KARLA J. LEWIS CLARK, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Social Security Administration, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN MAGISTRATE JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by
Plaintiff Karla J. Lewis Clark on April 20, 2017, and a Brief
in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment [DE
17], filed December 18, 2017. Plaintiff requests that the
decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and
remanded for benefits or further proceedings. On January 29,
2018, the Commissioner filed a response, and on February 26,
2018, Plaintiff filed a reply.
18, 2011, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits
alleging that she became disabled on June 2, 2010.
Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. On May 16, 2013, Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) Angelita Hamilton issued a decision
finding that Plaintiff was not disabled, and Plaintiff
appealed the decision. On September 17, 2015, this Court
issued an opinion and order reversing and remanding the
ALJ's decision, and the Appeals Council remanded the
matter to the ALJ. On September 20, 2016, ALJ Shane McGovern
held a video hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney
representative, and a vocational expert (“VE”)
testified. On November 30, 2016, the ALJ issued a second
decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.
made the following findings under the required five-step
1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2016.
2. The claimant has engaged in substantial gainful activity
since June 2, 2010, the alleged onset date. However, there
are periods of 12 continuous months whereby the claimant did
not engage in substantial gainful activity.
3. The claimant has severe impairments: degenerative disc
disease of the lumbar and cervical spine; right elbow
epicondylitis; bilateral knee osteoarthritis; presyncope;
fibromyalgia, asthma; hypertension; gastroesphogeal reflux
disease (GERD); and migraines.
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one the listed impairments in 20 CFR 404, Subpart P, Appendix
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to lift and/or carry up to 10 pounds
occasionally and nominal weight frequently, can sit for about
six hours of an eight hour workday and stand and/or walk for
about two hours out of an eight hour workday. The claimant
can occasionally climb ramps and stairs; can occasionally
stoop, kneel, balance, crouch, and crawl but can never climb
ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. She can frequently handle,
finger, and feel. She should avoid all exposure to extreme
cold, extreme heat, wetness, or humidity. She is limited to
no more than occasional exposure to irritants, such as fumes,
odors, dust, gasses or poorly ventilated areas. She is to
avoid exposure to moving mechanical parts, unprotected
heights, or bright sunshine/light that emulates bright
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as a collection clerk. This work does not require the
performance of work-related activities precluded by the
claimant's residual functional capacity.
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from June 2, 2010, through the
date of the decision.
Appeals Council did not take jurisdiction of the claim,
leaving the ALJ's decision the final decision of the
parties filed forms of consent to have this case assigned to
a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct all further
proceedings and to order the entry of a final judgment in
this case. Therefore, this Court has jurisdiction to decide