Holland v. Commissioner Social Security Administration
OPINION AND ORDER: Adopting Findings and Recommendation 24 . This case is REVERSED AND REMANDED for an immediate award of benefits beginning December 22, 2014, and for further proceedings with respect to the period preceding that date. Signed on 2/6/2018 by Judge Ann L. Aiken. (ck)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF OREGON
VICKI EILEEN HOLLAND,
Case No. 3:16-cv-02036-JR
OPINION AND ORDER
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting
Commissioner of Social Security,
On December 4, 2017, Magistrate Judge Russo filed her Findings and Recommendation
("F &R") (doc. 24), recommending this Court reverse and remand for an immediate payment of
benefits as of plaintiff Vicki Holland's sixtieth birthday and for fmiher proceedings regarding the
period of alleged disability preceding plaintiffs sixtieth bilihday. The F&R is now before me
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 72. I review de novo those portions of the
F&R to which objection is made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l)(C); accord Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3);
Holder v. Holder, 392 F.3d 1009, 1022 (9th Cir. 2004).
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As identified in their objections to the F&R, the parties' dispute focuses on the meaning
of the vocational expe1t' s ("VE") testimony regarding the vocational adjustments that would be
necessary for plaintiff to transition to light work.
I agree with Judge Russo that the VE
unambiguously answered "no" when asked whether those adjustments would be "little, if any"
under the Grid Rules. The VE's follow-up statement that the transition would be "minimal" does
not create ambiguity on this point; reading the VE's statements together, it is clear that the VE
meant that the vocational adjustments would not be substantial but nonetheless would exceed the
minimal adjustments permitted under the Grid Rules.
Having perfonned an independent review of the record, I agree that remand for an
immediate award of benefits is the correct result with respect to the period after plaintiff turned
sixty. I ADOPT Judge Russo's F&R (doc. 24). This case is REVERSED AND REMANDED
for an immediate award of benefits beginning December 22, 2014, and for further proceedings
with respect to the period preceding that date.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated thisf--f'J:ry of February 2018.
United States District Judge
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