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Bernard v. Colvin

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

December 22, 2014

Ronald L. Bernard, duly appointed representative of Todd Michael Bernard, deceased, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant - Appellee

Submitted October 7, 2014

Page 483

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 484

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis.

For Ronald L. Bernard, duly appointed representative of Todd Michael Bernard, deceased, Plaintiff - Appellant: Edward Francis Rooney, Minneapolis, MN.

For Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant - Appellee: Thomas W. Crawley, Joshua Peter Dehnke, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, Catherine A. Seagle, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Office of General Counsel Region V, Chicago, IL; Ana H. Voss, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, District of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Before RILEY, Chief Judge, WOLLMAN and BYE, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 485

BYE, Circuit Judge.

Ronald L. Bernard (Ronald) appeals the district court's[1] affirmance of the Social Security Commissioner's (Commissioner) decision to deny Todd Michael Bernard (Todd) disability benefits and supplemental security income under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. We affirm.

I

Todd, born January 29, 1963, was forty-four years old at the time of his alleged disability onset in April 2007 and at the time he filed his application in December 2007. Todd was a high school graduate, and since graduation, he worked primarily as a laborer, often working for temporary services. Todd's last employment prior to filing ended in April 2007 because the temporary job was completed. Todd indicated his daily activities included watching television, doing errands, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, eating, cleaning the house, walking the dog, washing clothes, and cleaning dishes. Todd also enjoyed video games, riding his bicycle, and playing cards and dice. He played poker with friends once a week and visited the grocery store and library on a regular basis.

In April 2007, Todd claimed an inability to work due to anxiety, cramping in his feet, and difficulty breathing. Todd first sought treatment for mental health issues in December 2007 and primarily saw Michael G. Graff, a licensed social worker providing psychotherapy, and Dr. Roger A. Johnson, a psychiatrist. Up until the time of Todd's death in July 2009, Graff, Johnson, and other medical professionals diagnosed and treated Todd for a variety of conditions, including: major depressive disorder, alcoholism, alcohol dependence, emphysema, and generalized anxiety disorder. Todd also experienced tremors of unknown etiology; ...


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