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Rodysill v. Colvin

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

March 21, 2014

Mick Thomas Rodysill, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant - Appellee

Submitted November 20, 2013.

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Nebraska - Lincoln.

For Mick Thomas Rodysill, Plaintiff - Appellant: Roger D. Moore, Rehm & Bennett, Omaha, NE.

For Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissoner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant - Appellee: John Paul Fox, Kristi Schmidt, Social Security Administration, Kansas City, MO; Lynnett Wagner, U.S. Attorney's Office, Omaha, NE.

Before WOLLMAN, COLLOTON, and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 948

GRUENDER, Circuit Judge.

Mick Rodysill appeals the district court's[1] judgment upholding the decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (the " Commissioner" ). The Commissioner determined that Rodysill was not entitled to waiver of recovery of overpaid disability benefits. Finding that substantial evidence supports the Commissioner's decision, we affirm.

I. Background

Rodysill began receiving Social Security disability benefits in 1996. In April 2007, the Commissioner notified Rodysill that his eligibility for disability benefits had ended in July 2003 based upon his substantial work activity. The Commissioner subsequently issued a revised decision that Rodysill's benefits should have ended in June 2004. The Commissioner ordered Rodysill to repay the overpayment of disability benefits that he received between June 2004 and March 2007, which the Commissioner calculated to be $21,929.

Rodysill requested waiver of recovery of the overpayment. The Commissioner denied waiver of recovery and proposed that Rodysill make payments of $300 per month to repay the overpayment. Rodysill then requested and received a hearing before an administrative law judge (" ALJ" ). Although the ALJ determined that Rodysill was not at fault in causing the overpayment, the ALJ denied waiver of recovery. The ALJ concluded that recovery of the overpayment did not defeat the purpose of Title II of the Social Security Act and was not against equity and good conscience. In finding that recovery of the overpayment did not defeat the purpose of Title II, the ALJ determined Rodysill's ability to repay the overpayment by considering the incomes and expenses of both Rodysill and his wife. Rodysill's financial reports showed that their household income exceeded their expenses by $970 in April 2009 and by $477 in April 2010. The ALJ also mentioned Rodysill

Page 949

and his wife's purchase of a home while his appeal was pending. The ALJ concluded, " Nonetheless, [Rodysill] and his wife still [] have some income each month that could be used for repayment." The ALJ also alluded to Rodysill's testimony that he would be working more hours in the future. However, the ALJ did not adjust Rodysill's income due to this possible increase in income.

After the Appeals Council denied Rodysill's request for review, Rodysill sought review in the district court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 405(g). The district court concluded that substantial evidence supports the Commissioner's decision ...


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