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Allen v. Saul

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

August 21, 2019

MARVIN E. ALLEN, 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 Marvin E. Allen on June 5, 2018, and Plaintiff's Opening Brief [DE 17], filed November 16, 2018. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On December 27, 2018, the Commissioner filed a response, and on January 16, 2019, Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for remand.

         I. Background

         On October 3, 2014, Plaintiff filed applications for benefits alleging that he became disabled on August 15, 2008. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon consideration. On January 31, 2017, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Matthew Johnson held a video hearing, at which Plaintiff, with an attorney and a vocational expert (“VE”), testified. At the hearing, Plaintiff amended his alleged onset date to October 3, 2014. On May 10, 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 has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 3, 2014, the application date.
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: loss of central visual acuity, complex tear of medial meniscus in the right knee, status post left knee arthroscopy, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), obesity, depression and personality disorder.
3. 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.
4. The claimant has the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 416.967(b) except climb ramps and stairs occasionally, never climb ropes, ladders or scaffolds; balance, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl on an occasional basis; the individual has no vision in his left eye and is limited visually in accordance with having only vision in one eye; the claimant can never work around environments involving unprotected heights, moving mechanical parts, and operation of a commercial motor vehicle; the individual is able to understand, carry out, remember and perform simple, routine and repetitive tasks involving only simple, work-related decisions with the ability to adapt only to routine workplace changes; the individual would need to be allowed to alternate between sitting and standing; the individual should be allowed to alternate to standing for five minutes after forty-five minutes of sitting, and alternate to sitting for five minutes after forty-five minutes of standing or walking, noted this is not off task time, but simple changes in positions at a job or at a work station; the individual can work in environments that involve humidity, wetness, dust, odors, fumes, and pulmonary irritants and extreme cold only on an occasional basis.
5. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
6. The claimant was 50 years old, which is defined as a which is defined as an individual closely approaching advanced age, 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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