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Burgos v. Saul

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

August 22, 2019

ROSALINDA BURGOS, Plaintiff,
v.
ANDREW 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 Rosalinda Burgos on June 14, 2018, and Plaintiff's Opening Brief [DE 16], filed November 28, 2018. Plaintiff requests that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On February 22, 2019, the Commissioner filed a response, and on March 18, 2019, Plaintiff filed a reply.

         I. Background

         On July 25, 2014, Plaintiff filed applications for benefits alleging that she became disabled on October 6, 2013. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and upon consideration. On November 9, 2016, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Kathleen Kadlec held a video hearing, at which Plaintiff, with an attorney and a vocational expert (“VE”), testified. On May 1, 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 meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2018.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 6, 2013, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: osteoarthritis with associated arthroscopy of the knee in 2014; degenerative disc disease (“DDD”) of the lumbar spine; DDD of the cervical spine with perineual cysts; arthritis of the hip; CMC arthritis; carpal tunnel syndrome (“CTS”), as well as bunions and hammertoe.
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.
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except she can operate hand controls with her right hand frequently. She can handle, finger and feel frequently with the right hand. The claimant can occasionally stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, as well as climb ramps and stairs, but never climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds. She can never be exposed to work around unprotected heights, moving mechanical parts or operating a motor vehicle.
6. The claimant is capable of performing her past relevant work as a house cleaner, sales clerk, or cook, as this work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity.
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, since October 6, 2013.

         The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, 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 ...


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