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Crawford v. Colvin

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

December 7, 2015

Robert Crawford, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant - Appellee

Submitted September 23, 2015

Page 405

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - Cape Girardeau.

For Robert Crawford, Plaintiff - Appellant: Anthony W. Bartels, Attorney, Jonesboro, AR; Eugene Gregory Wallace, Campbell University School of Law, Raleigh, NC.

For Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant - Appellee: Kimberly Goff, Kristi Schmidt, Deputy Chief Counsel, Social Security Administration, Office of General Counsel Region VII, Kansas City, MO; Jane Rund, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri, Saint Louis, MO.

Before LOKEN, BEAM, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 406

BEAM, Circuit Judge

Robert Crawford appeals the district court's[1] order affirming the decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration denying Crawford's application for supplemental security income. Crawford applied for benefits on August 16, 2007, claiming his disability began on January 1, 2004. The Commissioner denied the application, and Crawford appealed to an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ found Crawford was not disabled under the Social Security Act. The Appeals Council denied review, and Crawford appealed to the district court. The district court then reversed and remanded for lack of substantial evidence on the record concerning Crawford's ability to perform his past relevant work. Upon remand, the ALJ found that Crawford was not disabled because he could perform sedentary work. The Appeals Council again denied review, making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner. On appeal to the district court, the court affirmed the ALJ's decision. Crawford now appeals, and we affirm because the decision is supported by substantial evidence on the record.

I. BACKGROUND

Crawford was born on September 16, 1969. In his application, Crawford alleges that the following conditions prevent him from working: swelling in his legs, shortness of breath, low heart rate, sleep apnea, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, depression, and morbid obesity. He has a high school education and some semi-skilled past relevant work experience. His work history is sporadic, and his highest income for a single year is $6,869. He smokes

Page 407

between one-and-a-half and two packs of cigarettes a day, drinks two six-packs of beer on a daily basis when he has the money, and has had issues with cocaine addiction. He requires the use of home services but is able to prepare simple meals, sweep, and mop. Occasionally he walks to get around, and his hobbies include reading and completing crossword puzzles. Crawford also states that his conditions affect his ability to lift, squat, bend, stand, and walk, such that he can only lift between ten and fifteen pounds and can only walk fifty feet before needing to rest and elevate his legs. He is currently taking a number of medications.

Contrary to Crawford's claims, a third-party observation by the Social Security Administration showed he had no problems reading, breathing, understanding, concentrating, talking, or answering during his interview. As for credibility, according to the ALJ, " the relevant medical records show[ed] that the claimant's overall treatment history and the objective medical evidence fail[ed] to fully support the claimant's allegations about the severity of his limitations." Medical records from 2007 through 2012 consistently revealed that Crawford had a normal gait, a normal range of motion, an intact memory, no sensory deficiency, no irregular swelling in his legs, and mostly clear lungs. He also denied psychiatric problems in several medical records. Because of the inconsistencies ...


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