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Borum v. Saul

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

July 25, 2019

JESSICA ANTOINETTE BORUM, Plaintiff,
v.
ANDREW M. SAUL, Commissioner of the 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 Jessica Antoinette Borum on May 10, 2018, and Plaintiff's Brief in Support of Her Motion to Reverse the Decision of the Commissioner of Social Security [DE 18], filed October 15, 2018. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On October 19, 2018, the Commissioner filed a response, and on December 13, 2018, Plaintiff filed a reply.

         I. Background

         On December 5, 2014, Plaintiff filed an application for benefits alleging that she became disabled on January 1, 2013. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. On March 14, 2017, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Jessica Inouye held a hearing at which Plaintiff, with an attorney, and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified. On May 31, 2017, 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's date last insured is December 31, 2016.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January 1, 2013, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: degenerative joint disease/osteoarthritis; degenerative disc disease; obstructive sleep apnea; headaches; fibromyalgia; obesity; and major depressive disorder.
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 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(d), 404.1525, and 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a) except she is limited to: never climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds, kneeling, crouching, or crawling; occasionally climbing ramps and stairs, balancing, and stooping; frequently performing gross and fine manipulation with the left upper extremity; and avoiding concentrated exposure to extreme temperatures, humidity, as well as hazards such as unprotected heights and moving dangerous machinery. Furthermore, the claimant is able to learn, understand, remember, and carry out simple routine and repetitive work tasks and sustain them in two-hour increments throughout the typical workday.
6. The claimant has no past relevant work.
7. The claimant was 26 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44, 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 an issue because the claimant does not have ...

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