United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Complaint [DE 1], filed by
Plaintiff Patricia Ann Lark on October 4, 2017, and Brief of
Plaintiff [DE 17], filed October 11, 2018. Plaintiff requests
that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge be reversed
and remanded for further proceedings. On November 23, 2018,
the Commissioner filed a response, and on January 4, 2019,
Plaintiff filed a reply.
December 23, 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for
benefits alleging that she became disabled on June 1, 2005.
Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. On July 28, 2016, Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) William E. Sampson held a video hearing,
at which Plaintiff, with an attorney and a vocational expert
(“VE”), testified. On October 17, 2016, the ALJ
issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.
made the following findings under the required five-step
1. The claimant last met the insured status requirements of
the Social Security Act on June 30, 2010.
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful
activity during the period from her alleged onset date of
June 1, 2005, through her date last insured of June 30, 2010.
3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the
following severe impairments: fibromyalgia, migraine
headaches, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD) with asthma, irritable bowel
syndrome (IBS), and degenerative disc disease.
4. The claimant did not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one
of the listing impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P,
5. The claimant had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to
lift and carry up to 20 pounds occasionally, 10 pounds
frequently, stand and/or walk about 6 hours in an 8-hour
workday, and sit about 6 hours in an 8-hour workday with
normal breaks. The claimant was to avoid all climbing of
ladders, ropes, or scaffolds, or crawling, but she could have
occasionally climbed ramps and stairs, balanced, stooped,
knelt, or crouched. The claimant was limited to frequent but
not constant reaching, handling, and fingering in all
directions, but was limited to only occasional reaching
overhead, and she must have avoided all concentrated exposure
to extremes of heat and cold, as well as breathing irritants
such as fumes, odors, dusts, and gases, vibrations, and
hazards such as dangerous moving machinery or unprotected
heights. The claimant would have required a sit/stand option
whereby she could have changed positions after 30 minutes of
either standing or sitting.
6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was unable to
perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was 48 years old, which is defined as a
younger individual age 18-49, on the date last insured. 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” whether ...