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Miller v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, N.D. New York

February 13, 2014

SCOTT MILLER, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

PETER M. MARGOLIUS, ESQ., OFFICE OF PETER M. MARGOLIUS, Catskill, New York, Attorneys for Plaintiff,

SIXTINA FERNANDEZ, ESQ., SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION REGIONAL GENERAL COUNSEL'S OFFICE, REGION II, New York, New York, Attorneys for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

FREDERICK J. SCULLIN, Jr., Chief District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Currently before the Court are the parties' cross-motions for judgment on the pleadings. See Dkt. Nos. 11, 13.

II. BACKGROUND

On June 4, 2009, Plaintiff filed an application of Social Security Disability Benefits ("DIB") pursuant to §§ 216(i) and 223 of the Social Security Act (the "Act"), as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 416(i) and 423, alleging an onset date of November 23, 2008. See Dkt. No. 9-2 at 21. On November 12, 2009, he was denied benefits. See id. On November 19, 2009, Plaintiff filed a written request for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). See id.

On December 8, 2010, the hearing was held via video teleconferencing with Plaintiff in Albany, New York and ALJ Ronald L. Waldman presiding in Jericho, New York. See id. at 68. Attorney Tracy Weir Marek represented Plaintiff at the hearing. See id. at 21. On March 3, 2011, the ALJ issued his decision, finding that Plaintiff had "not been under a disability within the meaning of the Social Security Act from November 23, 2008, through the date of [his] decision." See id. In denying Plaintiff's claim, the ALJ made the following findings:

1. Plaintiff "met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2011."
2. Plaintiff had "engaged in substantial gainful activity during the following periods: August 2009 through March 2010 (20 CFR 404.1520(b) and 404.1571 et. seq. )"
3. "There ha[d] been no continuous 12-month period during which [Plaintiff had] not engaged in substantial gainful activity."
4. Plaintiff had "not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from November 23, 2008, through the date of this decision. 20 C.F.R. 404.1520(b))."

See Dkt. No. 9-2 at 23.

On March 14, 2011, Plaintiff retained new counsel, Peter M. Margolius. See Dkt. No. 11 at 2. On April 23, 2012, Mr. Margolius filed a letter brief with the Social Security Appeals Council. See id. On May 23, 2012, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review of the ALJ's March 3, 2011 decision, which meant that the ALJ's determination was the "final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security" in Plaintiff's case. See ...


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