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Raimbault v. Berryhill

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

February 14, 2019

TABITHA A. RAIMBAULT, 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 Tabitha A. Raimbault on January 22, 2018, and Plaintiff's Brief in Support of Reversing the Decision of the Commissioner of Social Security [DE 17], filed July 2, 2018. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for an award of benefits or, in the alternative, for further proceedings. On August 6, 2018, the Commissioner filed a response, and on August 27, 2018, Plaintiff filed a reply.

         I. Background

         On July 18, 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for supplemental security income, alleging that she became disabled on June 24, 2006. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration. On December 10, 2015, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) B. Lloyd Blair held a hearing at which Plaintiff and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified. Plaintiff was represented by an attorney at the hearing. On January 26, 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 has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 19, 2013, the application date.
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: History of L5-S1 fusion, cervical spine degenerative disc disease, degenerative joint disease of the bilateral knees, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), osteoporosis, bipolar disorder, mood disorder, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and anxiety disorder.
3. 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.
4. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b) except she could never use ladders, scaffolds, or ropes; only occasionally use ramps, stairs, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; should avoid concentrated exposure to vibrations; never use torque, pneumatic, or power tools; frequently but not constantly handle or finger; occasionally bend, twist, or turn at the waist or the neck; should have only simple unskilled work with one, two, or three-step instructions; jobs that do not require teamwork or working in close proximity of coworkers; work that involves minimal contact and directions from a supervisor; and work requiring brief and superficial contact with the general public.
5. The claimant has no past relevant work.
6. The claimant was 44 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the date the application was filed.
7. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English.
8. Transferability of job skills is not an issue because the claimant does not have past relevant work.
9. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national ...

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