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Goodrich v. Berryhill

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

February 5, 2019

EDWARD CODY GOODRICH, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner for Operations, 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 Edward Cody Goodrich on January 12, 2018, and Plaintiff's Brief [DE 24], filed on June 22, 2018. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On September 13, 2018, the Commissioner filed a response, and on October 18, 2018, Plaintiff filed a reply.

         I. Background

         On May 28, 2014, Plaintiff filed applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income, alleging that he became disabled on October 9, 2013. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration. On December 14, 2016, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Shane McGovern held a hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney representative, and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified. Plaintiff's mother also testified. On March 8, 2017, the ALJ issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled, and Plaintiff appealed the decision.

         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 June 30, 2018.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 9, 2013, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: epilepsy; depression; social anxiety disorder; generalized anxiety disorder; and panic disorder with agoraphobia.
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 (“RFC”) to perform a full range of work at all exertional levels but with the following nonexertional limitations: the claimant is never to climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; the claimant is limited to no more than frequent climbing of ramps and stairs, balancing, stooping, crouching, kneeling, and crawling; the claimant must avoid all exposure to moving mechanical parts and unprotected heights; the claimant is limited to simple routine and repetitive tasks and work that requires no more than simple work related decisions; the claimant must avoid all interaction with the public and no more than occasional interaction with coworkers and supervisors.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was 27 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 transferrable 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 October 9, 2013, through the date of the decision.

         The Appeals Council did not take jurisdiction of the claim, leaving the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner.

         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 this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         II. ...


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