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Gieseke v. Colvin

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

November 3, 2014

Dan Gieseke, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner, Defendant - Appellee

Submitted September 11, 2014

Appeal from United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa - Des Moines.

For Dan Gieseke, Plaintiff - Appellant: Gail Barnett, SCHOTT MAUSS ASSOCIATES, PC, Des Moines, IA.

For Carolyn W. Colvin, Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant - Appellee: Jeremiah Hayes, Assistant Regional Counsel, James Potter, Assistant Regional Counsel, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Kansas City, MO; William C. Purdy, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Des Moines, IA.

Before WOLLMAN, LOKEN, and MURPHY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1187

LOKEN, Circuit Judge.

An Administrative Law Judge (" ALJ" ) concluded that Dan Gieseke was not disabled and denied his applications for Social Security disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. Gieseke sought judicial review of the adverse agency decision and now appeals the district

Page 1188

court's[1] decision denying relief. Like the district court, we conclude that the ALJ's determination is supported by substantial evidence on the administrative record as a whole and therefore affirm. Welsh v. Colvin, 765 F.3d 926, 927 (8th Cir. 2014) (standard of review).

I.

Gieseke's long history of low back pain was aggravated by a work injury in 2006. After physical therapy, he returned to work subject to restrictions. He last worked in October 2008. His disability application listed lower back issues, dizziness, and leg problems as limiting conditions that prevent him from working.

After a hearing at which Gieseke and a vocational expert (" VE" ) testified, the ALJ found that Gieseke has severe impairments -- degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, obesity, and a history of substance abuse. He can lift and carry twenty pounds occasionally and ten pounds frequently; can stand and sit for six hours a day; can occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; should never be around heights or moving machinery or be required to climb ropes, ladders, or scaffolds; and requires a cane when standing. He is unable to perform his past relevant work. He has the residual functional capacity (" RFC" ) to perform light work but is impeded by limitations that " erode the unskilled light occupational base." Crediting the VE's answer to a hypothetical question incorporating these limitations, the ALJ ...


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