Love v. Social Security Administration, Commissioner
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER On March 11, 2016, the court denied the Commissioner's motion to alter or amend the judgment in this action, which reversed the Commissioner's denial of benefits and remanded the action for the singular purpose of awarding benefits. As an addendum to that opinion and order, the court states as outlined within. Signed by Judge William M Acker, Jr on 3/28/16. (SAC )
2016 Mar-28 PM 04:03
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting
Commissioner of Social
CIVIL ACTION NO.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
On March 11, 2016, the court denied the Commissioner’s motion
to alter or amend the judgment in this action, which reversed the
Commissioner’s denial of benefits and remanded the action for the
singular purpose of awarding benefits. As an addendum to that
opinion and order, the court states the following.
It has come to the court’s attention that in a previous social
security appeal in which this court reversed the Commissioner’s
denial of benefits and remanded solely for the calculation and
award of past-due benefits, the Commissioner took an inordinate
amount of time - 16 months after the court’s award of benefits before actually paying past-due benefits to the plaintiff. See Lane
v. Colvin, No. 5:13-cv-62-WMA. The statute under which the court
awarded benefits in Lane, as well as in this case, does not require
the court to provide the Commissioner the opportunity to calculate
the past-due benefits owed. See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The court did
so as a courtesy to the Commissioner, but a 16-month delay in
awarding benefits is an abuse of that courtesy. Accordingly, should
the Commissioner in this case delay the award of benefits more than
2 months from the date of this order (or more than 2 months after
final resolution of an appeal), the court would be amenable to
adding to plaintiff’s recovery statutory attorney’s fees under the
Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412. The court extends
plaintiff’s deadline for seeking such fees until 30 days after the
payment of past-due benefits to plaintiff.
DONE this 28th day of March, 2016.
WILLIAM M. ACKER, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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