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Mucha v. Berryhill

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division

January 25, 2019

BARBARA MUCHA, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE JOHN E. MARTIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         This matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by Plaintiff Barbara Mucha, and Plaintiff's Opening Brief [DE 25], filed July 5, 2018. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On October 12, 2018, the Commissioner filed a response. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.

         I. Background

         On February 21, 2014, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits alleging disability beginning January 29, 2014. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. On March 7, 2016, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Shane McGovern held a hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney, and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified. On March 30, 2016, 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, 2017.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January 29, 2014, the application date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: obesity; diabetes; mild carpal tunnel syndrome on the right; depression; borderline personality disorder; agoraphobia without a history of panic disorder and insomnia.
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 1.
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) except the claimant cannot operate foot controls on the left; never climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds; occasionally climb ramps and stairs; occasionally balance, stoop, crouch, kneel, and crawl; frequently handle, finger and feel bilaterally; no exposure to excess vibration; no use of dangerous or moving machinery; no exposure to unprotected heights; she is limited to simple, routine and repetitive tasks not a production rate pace; brief and superficial interaction with the public; occasional interaction with coworkers and supervisors and no work that requires tandem tasks or teamwork.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was 45 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 45-49, 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 ...

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