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Krick v. Colvin

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

March 16, 2018

MEGAN J. KRICK, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Katherine Menendez United States Magistrate Judge

         In this case, Megan Krick appeals the denial of her application for disability benefits by the Commissioner of Social Security.[1] This matter is now before the Court on the parties' motions for summary judgment. [Pl.'s Mot., ECF No. 18; Def.'s Mot., ECF No. 20.] Based on the parties' motions, the supporting memoranda, and the Court's review of the record as a whole, Ms. Krick's motion is denied, the defendant's motion is granted, and this matter is dismissed with prejudice.

         I. Background

         On May 2, 2012, [2] Ms. Krick alleged that she was no longer able to work and applied to the Social Security Administration for disability benefits. [Tr. of Admin. Record (“AR”) 182-90, ECF No. 13.] Before she filed her application, Ms. Krick worked for over ten years as a front desk representative for a medical clinic and for a little over a year as a customer service representative for a call center. [AR 215; see also id. at 34-37 (hearing testimony regarding past work).] Ms. Krick says that she became unable to work in 2012 due to a number of medical conditions, including:

severe chronic pain;
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome;[3]
a back injury;
a neck injury;
knee injuries;
shoulder injuries;
bi-polar disorder;[4]
fibromyalgia;
irritable bowel syndrome;
asthma;
and drug and alcohol addiction.[5]

[AR 82.]

         Ms. Krick has had four shoulder surgeries, two on each shoulder, and she had surgery on her right knee. [AR 46.] She has received injections in her shoulders, her back, and her knee. [AR 47.]

         Ms. Krick's Stated Limitations

         In her testimony at the hearing and documents submitted in support of her claim, Ms. Krick explained that she experiences constant pain. She cannot stand, sit, or walk for more than 30 minutes at a time and the only position in which she feels comfortable for extended periods is lying down. As a result, she spends most of the day on the couch. She needs help with household chores and grocery shopping because she is unable to carry bags of groceries. At night, she wakes up constantly from pain when she tries to sleep. She also has trouble cooking and getting dressed. [AR 224-31, 239; see also Id. at 38-42 (describing experiences of chronic pain, knee swelling, and other issues precluding work).]

         The ALJ's Decision

         Jordan Garelick, an ALJ with the Social Security Administration, held a hearing on Ms. Krick's claim. ALJ Garelick denied her claim and his decision now operates as the final decision of the Commissioner subject to review in this proceeding. [AR 8-17 (ALJ's decision).] The ALJ determined that Ms. Krick had the following medically determinable, severe impairments: disorders of muscle ligament fascia; degenerative joint disease; irritable bowel syndrome; and asthma. [AR 10-12.] As is most relevant to the issues presented here, ALJ Garelick determined Ms. Krick's residual functional capacity (“RFC”), which is the most she is capable of doing based on the limitations caused by all of her impairments. He found that despite her impairments, Ms. Krick retains the ability to do sedentary work with additional restrictions. Specifically, ALJ Garelick placed restrictions on: climbing; balancing; reaching overhead; exposure to cold, heat, and humidity; use of moving machinery; and exposure to unprotected heights. [AR 12-15.] The ALJ also found that Ms. Krick would need to be off task less than 10% of the work day. [AR 12.]

         ALJ Garelick specifically determined that Ms. Krick's “medically determinable impairments could reasonably be expected to cause [her] alleged symptoms; however, [her] statements concerning the intensity, persistence and limiting effects of these symptoms are not entirely credible . . . .” [AR 14.] Particularly ...


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