Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lukens v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration

United States District Court, D. Arizona

April 8, 2019

Nathan Lukens, Plaintiff,
v.
Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          ORDER

          LESLIE A. BOWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The plaintiff, Nathan Lukens, filed this action for review of the final decision of the Commissioner for Social Security pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). (Doc. 1, p. 1)

         The Magistrate Judge presides over this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) having received the written consent of both parties. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 73; (Doc. 14)

         The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in this case found that Lukens is not disabled by using the testimony of a vocational expert. That testimony, however, was not consistent with the information contained in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), and the ALJ failed to adequately resolve this inconsistency. Accordingly, this case is remanded for further proceedings.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In March of 2017, Lukens constructively filed an application for disability insurance benefits pursuant to Title II of the Social Security Act. (Tr. 20) He alleged disability beginning on August 5, 2016, due to fibromyalgia, chronic post-traumatic stress disease (PTSD), Celiac disease, right knee problem, insomnia, hearing issue (with associated skull implant), Barrett's syndrome (a disease of the esophagus), and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). (Tr. 428, 434)

         His application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. (Tr. 356-359); (Tr. 362-364) Lukens requested review and appeared without counsel at a hearing before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Laura Speck Havens on February 1, 2018. (Tr. 297) In her decision, dated February 26, 2018, the ALJ found Lukens was not disabled because, considering his age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, he could work as an addresser (DOT # 209.587-010), lens inserter (DOT # 713.687-026), or gauger (DOT # 712.687-018). (Tr. 20-34) A gauger sorts medical sutures.

         Lukens requested review, but on June 4, 2018, the Appeals Council denied review making the decision of the ALJ the final decision of the Commissioner. (Tr. 1-4) Lukens subsequently filed this action seeking review of that final decision. (Doc. 1)

         Claimant's Work History and Medical History

         Lukens was 36 years old at the time of the hearing before the ALJ. (Tr. 299) He has a high school diploma and has attended two years of college. (Tr. 299)

         Lukens was a soldier from 2000 to 2005 and from 2006 to 2010. (Tr. 302) He was a machine gunner and a truck driver. Id. He has a 90 percent disability rating from the VA resulting from what he calls Gulf War Illness. (Tr. 300)

         In October of 2017, Lukens was examined by consulting physician Jeri B. Hassman, M.D., for the disability determination services. (Tr. 2714) Lukens reported “generalized aching pain all over his body, ” which is “especially bad in his upper back and shoulders and low back and in his feet and ankles. . . .” (Tr. 2715) Hassman diagnosed “allegation of fibromyalgia . . . Celiac disease . . . otoscherosis . . . allegation of right knee problems . . . history of PTSD [post-traumatic stress disease] . . . [and] allegations of Barrett's syndrome and GERD [gastroesophogeal reflux disease]. . . .” (Tr. 2717)

         Hassman completed the social security administration form HA-1151-BK, Medical Source Statement of Ability to do Work-Related Activities (Physical). (Tr. 2718) She opined that Lukens can lift or carry up to 10 pounds frequently and 20 pounds occasionally. (Tr. 2718) He can sit or stand for 30 minutes or walk for 15 minutes at one time. (Tr. 2719) He can sit for 6 hours, stand for 2 hours, or walk for 2 hours in an 8-hour work day. (Tr. 2719) He is limited to “occasionally” reaching “overhead” or in “all other” directions. (Tr. 2720) He is limited to occasionally pushing or pulling. (Tr. 2720)

         At the hearing before the ALJ, Lukens testified that he lives with his wife and preschool children. (Tr. 303) He helps his wife with the household chores to some extent. (Tr. 303) He will “try” to mop, sweep, and fold clothes. (Tr. 303-304) He cooks once a week and helps with the grocery shopping. (Tr. 303-304) He eats a limited diet of oatmeal, rice, beans, and corn tortillas. (Tr. 308) He likes photography, but he must use a tripod because he cannot hold the camera. (Tr. 305) He reads nonfiction to distract himself from his pain. (Tr. 306)

         Lukens feels a constant stabbing pain throughout his whole body averaging an 8 out of 10. (Tr. 310) He testified that he can stand for up to an hour at a time. (Tr. 309) He can walk for up to 20 minutes. (Tr. 309) He can sit for one hour. (Tr. 309) ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.