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Krier v. Colvin

United States District Court, D. Arizona

January 13, 2015

PATRICE MARIE KRIER, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

ORDER

H. RUSSEL HOLLAND, District Judge.

This is an action for judicial review of the denial of disability benefits under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 401-434, 1381-1383f. Plaintiff has timely filed her opening brief, [1] to which defendant has responded.[2] Oral argument was not requested and is not deemed necessary.

Procedural Background

Plaintiff is Patrice Marie Krier. Defendant is Carolyn W. Colvin, acting Commissioner of Social Security.

On August 5, 2010, plaintiff filed applications for disability benefits under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. Plaintiff alleged that she became disabled on April 2, 2010. Plaintiff claimed that she was disabled due to symptoms from multiple sclerosis. Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration. After a hearing on January 19, 2012, an administrative law judge (ALJ) denied plaintiff's claims. On July 22, 2013, the Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review, thereby making the ALJ's February 23, 2012 decision the final decision of the Commissioner. On September 13, 2013, plaintiff commenced this action in which she asks the court to find that she is entitled to disability benefits.

General Background

Plaintiff was born on December 1, 1964. She was 47 years old at the time of the hearing. Plaintiff has a high school education and completed one year of college. Plaintiff's adult-age daughter lives with her. Plaintiff's past relevant work includes work as an administrative assistant, an accounting clerk, and a travel clerk.

The ALJ's Decision

The ALJ first found that plaintiff met "the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through at least December 31, 2014."[3]

The ALJ then applied the five-step sequential analysis used to determine whether an individual is disabled.[4]

At step one, the ALJ found that plaintiff had "not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 2, 2011, the alleged onset date...."[5]

At step two, the ALJ found that plaintiff had "the following severe impairment: multiple sclerosis...."[6]

At step three, the ALJ found that plaintiff did "not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1...."[7] The ALJ explained that plaintiff's "medical records do not describe the degree of disorganization of motor function, the degree of visual or mental impairment or the significant, reproducible fatigue of motor function with substantial muscle weakness on repetitive activity, as required under Section 11.09 for Listing level multiple sclerosis."[8]

"Between steps three and four, the ALJ must, as an intermediate step, assess the claimant's RFC." Bray v. Comm'r Soc. Sec. Admin., 554 F.3d 1219, 1222-23 (9th ...


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