Whitfield v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration
ORDER granting 18 Motion for Attorney Fees, awarding fees in the amount of $3,438.52. Signed by Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges on 07/17/2017.(bshr, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Billie Jo Whitfield,
Commissioner of Social Security
C/A No.: 1:16-3428-SVH
This matter is before the court on Plaintiff’s motion for attorney’s fees. [ECF No.
18]. The parties consented to the undersigned’s disposition of this case. [ECF No. 8], and
on November 9, 2016, the matter was referred to the undersigned by order of the
Honorable Richard M. Gergel [ECF No. 9]. On May 10, 2017, the court reversed the
Commissioner’s decision that had denied Plaintiff’s claims for Disability Insurance
Benefits and Supplemental Security Income. [ECF No. 16]. Plaintiff then filed and
documented a request totaling $3,438.52 for fees, costs, and expenses pursuant to the
Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412 (“the EAJA”). [ECF No. 18]. The
Commissioner filed a response in support of Plaintiff’s motion. [ECF No. 19].
Accordingly, the court grants Plaintiff’s motion and directs the Commissioner to pay
Plaintiff the stipulated sum of $3,438.52. Such payment shall constitute a complete
release from and bar to any and all further claims that Plaintiff may have under the EAJA
to fees, costs, and expenses incurred in connection with disputing the Commissioner’s
decision. This award is without prejudice to the rights of Plaintiff’s counsel to seek
attorney fees under section 206(b) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 406(b), subject
to the offset provisions of the EAJA.
Under Astrue v. Ratliff, 130 S.Ct. 2521, 2528–29 (2010), EAJA fees awarded by
this court belong to Plaintiff and are subject to offset under the Treasury Offset Program
(31 U.S.C. § 3716(c)(3)(B) (2006)). Therefore, the court orders the EAJA fees to be
made payable to Plaintiff and mailed to the business address of Plaintiff’s counsel.1
IT IS SO ORDERED.
July 17, 2017
Columbia, South Carolina
Shiva V. Hodges
United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff’s counsel may disburse these funds to satisfy valid liens or in accordance with
a lawful assignment.
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