DeJohn v. Colvin
DECISION AND ORDER that plaintiffs motion for prompt payment of past due Social Security disability benefits (Docket No. 20) is granted. The Commissioner is ordered to pay plaintiffs past due Social Security disability benefits within 20 days of entry of this Decision and Order.. Signed by Hon. Michael A. Telesca on 5/4/17. (JMC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting
Commissioner Of Social Security1,
Plaintiff Diane DeJohn (“plaintiff”) has filed a motion in
which she asks the Court for an Order directing defendant the
“Commissioner”) to promptly pay her past due Social Security
(Docket No. 20).
For the reasons set forth
below, plaintiff’s motion is granted, and the Commissioner is
directed to provide plaintiff with payment of her past due Social
Security disability benefits within 20 days of entry of this
Decision and Order.
benefits were filed on January 23, 2012, and February 14, 2012,
respectively, and were initially denied.
Following the denial of
benefits, plaintiff was granted a hearing before an administrative
Nancy A. Berryhill replaced Carolyn W. Colvin as Acting Commissioner of Social
Security on January 23, 2017. The Clerk of the Court is instructed to amend the
caption of this case pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(d) to reflect
the substitution of Acting Commissioner Berryhill as the defendant in this
law judge (“ALJ”), who later issued a written decision denying
The ALJ’s decision became final on June 30, 2014, when
Plaintiff filed the present action seeking judicial review of the
ALJ’s final decision pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), which resulted
proceedings on August 6, 2015.
On remand, the ALJ issued a
decision dated July 18, 2016, in which he determined that plaintiff
had been disabled since December 31, 2006.
(Docket No. 20-1).
or about November 19, 2016, the Social Security Administration
issued a Notice of Award determining that plaintiff was entitled to
$17,928.00 was to be withheld for attorneys’ fees. (Docket No. 202).
The Notice of Award states that plaintiff “will soon receive
a check for $58,267.00 because [the Social Security Administration]
had withheld money from your benefits.” (Id.). However, plaintiff
avers that, to date, she has not received payment of her past due
Social Security disability benefits.
The Social Security Act “contemplates that payments shall
commence within a reasonable time after a favorable decision.”
Sharpe v. Harris, 621 F.2d 530, 532 (2d Cir. 1980).
determination of disability. See id. (upholding judgment requiring
“that payments begin within twenty days of a favorable decision in
cases in which the decision contains findings as to the proper
level of payments and within sixty days of decision in cases
appropriate level of benefits”); see also Chagnon v. Schweiker, 560
F. Supp. 71, 77 (D. Vt. 1982) (ordering that the Commissioner pay
benefits within 60 days after a favorable determination by an ALJ
or the Appeals Council and within 120 days after a favorable
district court ruling).
In this case, there has been a delay of more than nine months
since the ALJ’s favorable determination on July 18, 2016.
Court finds this delay unreasonable as a matter of law.
result, the Court grants plaintiff’s motion and orders that the
Commissioner promptly pay plaintiff her past due Social Security
For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff’s motion for prompt
payment of past due Social Security disability benefits (Docket
No. 20) is granted. The Commissioner is ordered to pay plaintiff’s
past due Social Security disability benefits within 20 days of
entry of this Decision and Order.
ALL OF THE ABOVE IS SO ORDERED.
S/ MICHAEL A. TELESCA
HONORABLE MICHAEL A. TELESCA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
DATED: Rochester, New York
May 4, 2017
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