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Joy v. Colvin

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

March 15, 2017

VIVIAN JOY, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          OPINION

          Richard Mills United States District Judge.

         Vivian Joy seeks review of the decision of the Administrative Law Judge denying her application for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income.

         Pending are motions for summary judgment filed by both parties.

         The ALJ's decision is affirmed and summary judgment is entered in favor of the Commissioner.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Introduction

         Vivian Joy was born in 1959 and was 49-years-old at the time of her alleged onset date. She has a limited education and has past relevant work as a cashier II, medical record clerk, and sales clerk. Her alleged onset date is June 1, 2008.

         ALJ Robert H. Schwartz noted that Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 1, 2008. The ALJ found that Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: Hepatitis C with history of symptomatic pelvic pain, irritable bowel syndrome and mood disorder associated with depression and anxiety symptoms aggravated by interferon treatment for Hepatitis C.

         The ALJ further found that Plaintiff did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).

         In contending that the ALJ's decision should be reversed, the Plaintiff alleges the ALJ failed to create an accurate residual functional capacity assessment that incorporated all of the Plaintiff's impairments. Additionally, the ALJ failed to properly consider the Plaintiff's subjective complaints of pain and other symptoms and thus made an erroneous credibility determination.

         The Defendant asserts the decision should be affirmed on the basis that substantial evidence supported the ALJ's residual functional capacity finding that Plaintiff could perform a range of work, as long as the work is accommodated significant mental, exertional and climbing restrictions.

         B. Medical evidence

         (1)

         The Plaintiff states that she suffers from chronic pain and symptoms from the irritable bowel syndrome and Hepatitis C. On November 3, 2008, the Plaintiff went to the emergency room with crampy abdominal pain and diffuse in her abdomen associated with diarrhea. The Plaintiff was given IV fluids and pain medication and was resting comfortably following treatment.

         On April 6, 2009, the Plaintiff went to the emergency room with complaints of abdominal pain. She was given fluids and pain medication and was resting comfortably. The Plaintiff states that she was unable to receive any treatment for Hepatitis C because of her unstable mental health conditions.

         On September 2, 2009, emergency room notes show that Plaintiff reported vomiting and complained of abdominal pain. A review of symptoms was negative or non-contributory to the Plaintiff's chief complaint. The Plaintiff was given IV fluids, antiemetic therapy and pain medication. Upon reevaluation, the Plaintiff felt better and her abdominal examination was benign on reevaluation.

         On December 14, 2009, the Plaintiff went to SIU HealthCare for a check-up. She reported loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal bloating, nausea, constipation, abdominal pain, back pain, joint swelling, stiffness and joint pain. The Plaintiff was told to increase her dietary fiber intake and continue taking Dicyclomine for irritable bowel syndrome. She was told to see Dr. Speil for Hepatitis C and he would start treatment soon. Regarding her depression, the Plaintiff had an upcoming appointment with psychiatrist David S. Resch, M.D.

         On January 20, 2010, the Plaintiff went to the emergency room with complaints of vomiting and abdominal pain. She received treatment and had abdominal pain but was resting comfortably and was discharged.

         On June 14, 2010, the Plaintiff went to the emergency room with a complaint of right upper quadrant pain. She was given ...


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