Caudill v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER ADOPTING and AFFIRMING the REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 22 in that Plaintiff's Statement of Errors is OVERRULED and the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security is AFFIRMED. Signed by Judge George C. Smith on 9/21/17. (sem)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
BRENDA KAY CAUDILL,
Case No.: 2:16-cv-818
JUDGE GEORGE C. SMITH
Magistrate Judge Vascura
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
This case is before the Court to consider the Report and Recommendation issued by the
Magistrate Judge on August 21, 2017. The Magistrate Judge recommended that Plaintiff’s State
of Errors be overruled and the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security be affirmed.
(See Report and Recommendation, Doc. 22). This matter is now before the Court on Plaintiff’s
Objections to the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation. (Doc. 26). The Court will
consider the matter de novo. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3).
Plaintiff “objects to the Magistrate Judge’s finding that the Commissioner’s burden of
proof was carried in this case by the ALJ’s reliance on VE testimony even though the VE’s
testimony lacked clarity and the ALJ made no specific findings regarding the degree of
transferability of Caudill’s skills in light of her age, which was categorized as ‘advanced age’ by
the Commissioner’s regulations.” (Doc. 26, Pl.’s Obj. at 1–2).
Plaintiff argues that the Magistrate Judge failed to recognize that the Commissioner had
the burden of proof at step five and that the ALJ erred in failing to make a finding that the
sedentary jobs that were cited (e.g. medical voucher clerk, hospital admit clerk, and claims
examiner) were “so similar to your previous work that you would need to make very little, if any,
vocational adjustment in terms of tools, work processes, work settings, or the industry.” §
404.1568(d)(4). Plaintiff further argues that the Magistrate Judge incorrectly interpreted her
argument stating “[t]he Magistrate Judge interpreted Caudill’s argument as a substantial
evidence argument . . .. However, Caudill’s argument is the ALJ committed a legal error in
failing to elicit testimony from the VE to support his position that the jobs cited required very
little, if any, vocational adjustment in terms of tools, work processes, work settings, or the
industry.” (Doc. 26, Pl.’s Obj. at 2–3).
However, the Magistrate Judge specifically considered this issue, stating “Plaintiff
asserts that the ALJ failed to sufficiently inquire into and determine the degree of vocational
adjustment required in the sedentary jobs the VE identified.” (Doc. 22, Report and
Recommendation at 13). And again the Magistrate Judge noted that “because of Plaintiff’s age
and he sedentary RFC he assessed, the ALJ was required to determine whether Plaintiff
maintained transferable skills to sedentary work with very little vocation adjustment.” (Id. at
15). The Court ultimately agrees with the reasoning of the Magistrate Judge, although the ALJ
did not actually use the phrase “vocational adjustment,” the testimony of the VE addressed
Plaintiff’s transferable skills and the potential sedentary jobs that were similar to her previous
Therefore, for the reasons stated in the well-reasoned Report and Recommendation, this
Court finds that Plaintiff’s objection is without merit. Based on the aforementioned and the
detailed Report and Recommendation, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s objection has been
thoroughly considered and is hereby OVERRULED. Accordingly, the Report and
Recommendation, Document 22, is ADOPTED and AFFIRMED. Plaintiff’s Statement of
Errors is hereby OVERRULED, and the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security is
The Clerk shall remove Documents 22 and 26 from the Court’s pending motions list, and
enter final judgment in favor of Defendant, the Commissioner of Social Security.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ George C. Smith
GEORGE C. SMITH, JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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