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Keefer v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration

United States District Court, District of South Carolina, Aiken Division

April 14, 2015

Gregory W. Keefer, Plaintiff,
v.
Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

ORDER

Shiva V. Hodges Carolina United States Magistrate Judge

This matter is before the court on Plaintiff’s motion for attorney’s fees. [ECF No. 25]. The parties consented to the undersigned’s disposition of this case [ECF No. 19], and on November 21, 2014, the matter was referred to the undersigned by order of the Honorable Timothy M. Cain. [ECF No. 21]. On January 5, 2015, the court reversed the Commissioner’s decision denying Plaintiff’s claim for Disability Insurance Benefits and remanded the case to the Commissioner for further proceedings. [ECF No. 22]. Plaintiff then filed and documented a request for fees, costs, and expenses pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412 (“the EAJA”), totaling $6, 988.50. [ECF No. 25]. The Commissioner filed a response that reflected the parties’ stipulation to an attorney’s fee of $5, 500.00. [ECF No. 26]. Accordingly, the court grants the motion and directs the Commissioner to pay Plaintiff $5, 500.00. 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 paid to Plaintiff and mailed to the business address of Plaintiff s counsel.


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