United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
MARGARET L. MINERD, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.
DECISION AND ENTRY
L. Ovington United States Magistrate Judge
Margaret L. Minerd applied for Supplemental Security Income
in January 2014 asserting that she could no longer work due
to her health problems and their negative impact upon her. A
social security Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), Benjamin
Chaykin, determined that Plaintiff's health problems did
not constitute a “disability” as defined in the
Social Security Act. He therefore denied Plaintiff's
brings the present case challenging ALJ Chaykin's
decision with regard to her work limitations caused by her
Crohn's flare-ups. She maintains that the ALJ erred in
finding she could perform work that limited her to being off
task during 5% of the workday and erred in failing to find
that she could only perform work that permitted her to be off
task more than 10% of the workday. She relies on her
testimony concerning her need for lengthy bed rest when she
experiences a Crohn's flare-up, the increase in the
frequency of these flare-ups, and her additional problems
with nausea, vomiting, and arthritis in her tailbone and
hipbone secondary to Crohn's disease. These problems plus
uncontrolled bowel movements and fatigue would cause her to
be off task more than 10% of the work day, a work preclusive
limitation, according to a vocational expert.
Commissioner argues that substantial evidence supports the
ALJ's assessment of Plaintiff's residual functional
capacity, or the most she could do despite her impairments.
See Howard v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 276 F.3d 235,
239 (6th Cir. 2002). This includes the ALJ's
determination that Plaintiff was limited to being off task
for 5% of the workday. The Commissioner further contends
that, although Plaintiff has waived any credibility-based
argument, the ALJ properly evaluated her credibility and
substantial evidence supports the ALJ's credibility
was 36 years old on the date she filed her application for
Supplemental Security Income. This placed her in the Social
Security Administration's category of younger person. 20
C.F.R. § 416.963(c). She is considered, under social
security law, to have a limited education. She worked in the
past as a cashier and a waitress.
testified during a hearing before ALJ Chaykin that most of
the time she does not feel well due to “back and hip
problems from the ankylosing spondylitis and …
Crohn's.” (Doc. #4, PageID #s 245,
254-55). She gets nauseated “and sick and then a lot of
times [she's] depressed.” Id. Most days
she just lies in bed. Id. She stays in bed for a
large part of the day, or the whole day, “at least a
couple times a week probably.” Id.
when her Crohn's disease flares up, she wears an adult
diaper. When asked how often she has a Crohn's flare-up,
she answered, “This year I've been-it's been
quite often. I've been hospitalized … several
times for it this year but normally, I mean, well, I guess on
my good years maybe a couple of times a year…,
I'll have flare[-]ups and it's not an everyday
thing….” Id. at 251. She clarified that
during the two years before the ALJ's hearing in November
2015, her flare-ups steadily became more frequent and more
painful. She noted, ‘[T]his year alone has been
incredibly bad.” Id. at 263. She suffered 9 or
10 flare-ups, about one per month, during 2015. Id.
at 263-64. Her flare-ups can last for a few days to a few
weeks, and she has been hospitalized for 30 days (in 2003) or
more because of that condition. Id. at 264, 269.
last job, working as a cashier, ended when she lost control
of her bowels in front of customers. She noted, “I was
embarrassed so I left.” Id. at 251. The joint
pain Plaintiff experiences due to Crohn's disease limits
her ability to sit or stand. If she sits too long, she must
stand up; if she stands too long, she must sit down.
Id. at 261. She estimated that she can stand for 15
minutes before needing to sit down. She can sit for 30 to 40
minutes. Id. at 265-66. Lying down helps relieve her
pain by taking pressure off her lower back and hip.
also suffers from bipolar disorder. When she experiences a
manic episode, she has “an unbelievable surge in
energy…, ” id. at 259, and she engages
in careless spending. She also does things that she normally
cannot do but “ends up paying for it.”
Id. She sees her psychiatrist, Dr. Gainer, who
monitors her condition and adjusts her medications.
Id. She testified that her bipolar disorder would
affect her ability to perform a job because she gets really
nervous around others. Her anxiety also causes her to be
paranoid. She added, “I always feel like people are
talking about me or … judging me or something.”
Id. at 261.
attends church on Sundays. She does not go to stores or do
anything outside her home. She explains, “That's a
problem-my life is just about-doctors….”
Id. at 261. During a typical day, she mainly watches
television and sleeps. She engages in social networking on
Facebook and with friends through church.
the medical evidence of record, Plaintiff has provided a
detailed description of those records, and the Commissioner
relies on the ALJ's detailed description. There is no
need to repeat their cogent descriptions, and the most
pertinent evidence will be discussed when addressing the
to the medical evidence, Plaintiff generally agrees with the
ALJ's summary. A few ...