United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
GORDON L. SULLIVAN, SR., Plaintiff,
ANDREW M. SAUL, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by
Plaintiff Gordon L. Sullivan, and Plaintiff's Opening
Memorandum [DE 22], filed January 21, 2019. Plaintiff
requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be
reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On March 1,
2019, the Commissioner filed a response, and on March 17,
2019, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following reasons, the
Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.
February 15, 2015, Plaintiff filed an application for
benefits alleging disability beginning May 8, 2014.
Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. On May 10, 2017, Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) Robert Long held a video hearing at which
Plaintiff, with counsel, and a vocational expert
(“VE”) testified. On July 31, 2017, the ALJ
issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.
made the following findings under the required five-step
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2019.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since May 8, 2014, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
obesity, diabetes mellitus, essential hypertension, panic
disorder, social anxiety disorder, substance induced
depressive disorder, 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 the listed impairments in 20 CFR 404, Subpart P, Appendix
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity (RFC) to
perform medium work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(c) with
some additional limitations. More specifically, he is able to
lift and carry up to 50 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds
frequently, stand or walk for a total of six hours of an
eight-hour work day, and sit for a total of six hours of an
eight-hour workday. He can maintain only occasional
interaction with supervisors, only occasional and superficial
interaction with coworkers, and no interaction with the
general public. He can occasionally work outside, and he can
only perform low-stress work (i.e., work in which change is
only introduced gradually and requires no decision making).
6. The claimant unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was 49 years old, which is defined as a
younger individual age 18-49, on the alleged disability onset
date. The claimant subsequently changed age category to
closely approaching advanced age.
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, ” ...