United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
JACOB W. BURKE, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Social Security Administration, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
R. CHERRY MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by
Plaintiff Jacob W. Burke on May 30, 2018, and a Social
Security Opening Brief of Plaintiff [DE 16], filed on
September 24, 2018. Plaintiff requests that the May 19, 2017
decision of the Administrative Law Judge denying his claim
for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security
income be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On
October 31, 2018, the Commissioner filed a response, and
Plaintiff filed a reply on November 19, 2018. For the
following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request
October 28, 2014, and October 31, 2014, Plaintiff filed
applications for disability insurance benefits and
supplemental security income, respectively, alleging
disability beginning July 20, 2013. The applications were
denied initially and on reconsideration. Plaintiff requested
a hearing, and, on January 20, 2017, Administrative Law Judge
Stephanie Katich (“ALJ”) held a hearing. In
attendance at the hearing were Plaintiff, Plaintiff's
friend, Plaintiff's parents, Plaintiff's attorney,
and an impartial vocational expert. On May 19, 2017, the ALJ
issued an unfavorable decision, making the following
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through June 30, 2017.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since July 20, 2013, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
diabetic polyneuropathy bilateral feet, chronic venous
insufficiency, varicosity in the lower extremities, venous
stasis dermatitis, diabetes with resulting diabetic
retinopathy with macular edema, status post right eye
vitrectomy, and obesity.
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,
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform the full range of light work
as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b), except that
he can stand and/or walk, in combination, for two hours
during an eight-hour workday, sit for six hours throughout
the eight-hour workday, and lift, carry, push and pull up to
ten pounds frequently and twenty pounds occasionally. As to
postural changes, he can occasionally climb ramps and stairs,
balance, stoop, kneel, and crouch, but can never crawl or
climb ladders, ropes, and scaffolds. Regarding visual tasks,
the claimant is able to read print with a font size of 20-24,
can perform work activities requiring frequent near acuity,
and he should avoid work activity requiring nighttime
driving. With respect to his work environment, he should
avoid all exposure to unprotected heights, dangerous moving
machinery, and wet, slippery, or uneven surfaces.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was born [in 1972] and was 41 years old,
which is 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 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 20, 2013, through ...