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Marciniak v. Shalala

49 F.3d 1350 (1995)

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Marciniak v. Shalala

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

49 F.3d 1350 (1995)

Facts

Carol A. Marciniak (plaintiff) applied for Social Security disability benefits, claiming that she had been disabled since May 31, 1990, due to scoliosis that had worsened after a fall she had at work a month earlier. Marciniak returned to work two days after her fall but was laid off the same day she claimed her disability onset. After being laid off, Marciniak was treated for increased back pain and spasms in October 1990 and was prescribed an exercise regimen and was told she could return to work that did not require sustained neck movements. In April 1991, Marciniak was examined for a workers-compensation claim in which she complained of back, neck, and shoulder pain and was diagnosed with thoracolumbar scoliosis with multiple-level arthritis and a degenerative disc disease. Then, the examining doctor provided an opinion that Marciniak was disabled as set forth in the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments from May 1990; however, she was still able to perform sedentary, consistent, and competitive work. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala (defendant), denied Marciniak’s application following an administrative-law judge’s (ALJ) finding that Marciniak had severe impairments, but they were not listed or medically equal to the listed impairment for disorders of the spine. The ALJ’s finding was based on the absence of medical evidence of the second medical criteria for meeting the listing in addition to back pain and spasms. Marciniak requested judicial review of the denial in a United States district court. The district court granted summary judgment, affirming the secretary’s denial of benefits. Marciniak appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hansen, J.)

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