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Hill v. Colvin

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

June 2, 2014

Jody D. Hill, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant - Appellee

Submitted April 14, 2014.

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

For Jody D. Hill, Plaintiff - Appellant: Michael Moroni, Bloomfield, MO.

For Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant - Appellee: Kevin B. Murphy, Assistant Regional Counsel, Kristi Schmidt, Deputy Chief Counsel, Sean Stewart, Assistant Regional 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 WOLLMAN, BYE, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

BYE, Circuit Judge.

Page 799

Jody Hill appeals the district court's[1] order affirming the Administrative Law Judge's (" ALJ" ) determination Hill was not entitled to disability benefits or supplemental security income. We affirm.

I

Hill worked as a long-haul truck driver from 2000 to 2006, when he quit because he " couldn't handle the stress." Hill applied for Social Security disability benefits and supplemental security income in 2007. Hill had diagnosed with multiple disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and adjustment disorder. Hill had violent feelings, was stressed by his household situation where he lived with his mother, stepfather, and other extended family. Hill displayed anti-social tendencies and testified he had difficult interacting with people. Hill was treated with various medications, including Celexa, lithium,

Page 800

and Prozac. These medications had a positive impact on his mood and behavior. The Social Security Commissioner ultimately denied Hill's disability applications, and Hill requested a hearing before the ALJ.

Disability claims are evaluated using a five-step sequential process for evaluating disability claims, during which the ALJ asks: (1) whether the claimant is currently employed; (2) whether the claimant is severely impaired; (3) whether the impairment is or approximates an impairment listed in Appendix 1; (4) whether the claimant can perform past relevant work; and, if not, (5) whether the claimant can perform any other kind of work. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520; See also King v. Astrue, 564 F.3d 978, 979 n.2 (8th Cir. 2009).

Upon review, the ALJ denied Hill's claims, concluding Hill could return to his past work as a truck driver but also determined Hill could not do more than simple, repetitive unskilled or low level semi-skilled tasks, or have close or frequent contact with co-workers, supervisors, or the general public. In the alternative, the ALJ determined there were other jobs available which Hill could perform, such as a dipper, gluer, ...


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