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Rejina J. Galvez v. Commissioner of Social Security

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


December 7, 2012

REJINA J. GALVEZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
DEFENDANT.

ORDER DENYING APPLICATION TO ) PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF FEES (Document 2)

ORDER REQUIRING SUBMISSION OF FILING FEE NO LATER THAN

JANUARY 14, 2013

Plaintiff Rejina J. Galvez ("Plaintiff"), is proceeding pro se in this civil action, having filed a complaint on November 30, 2012. (Doc. 1). That same date, she submitted an application to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to Title 28 of the United States Code section 1915. (Doc. 2). A review of the application reveals that although Plaintiff does not work, she has $13,200.00 in a bank account. Therefore, this Court finds Plaintiff is not entitled to proceed without prepayment of the $350.00 filing fee.

It appears Plaintiff is attempting to challenge a denial of her application for disability/social security benefits. This Court only has jurisdiction to review a denial of disability/social security benefits under certain circumstances. Specifically, Plaintiff is advised that an individual must exhaust administrative remedies in order to challenge the denial of these benefits. This means that once a denial of benefits is received, a claimant must file for reconsideration of that decision with the Social Security Administration. 20 C.F.R. § 904.909. If an adverse decision is rendered, an individual may request that an administrative law judge ("ALJ") hold a hearing. 20 C.F.R. § 404.929. If the ALJ issues an adverse decision, an appeal may be filed with the Appeals Council. Any appeal to the Appeals Council must be filed within sixty days of the ALJ's decision. 20 C.F. R. § 404.968. Once the Appeals Council issues its decision, a Claimant can file a complaint in the United States District Court, but this complaint must be filed within sixty days of the Appeals Council's order. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). In other words, in order to seek judicial review of a denial of Social Security benefits and/or disability benefits, an individual must have followed the appeals process outlined above including filing a complaint in the United States District Court within sixty days of receiving an adverse determination from the Appeals Council.

From the complaint filed, it is unclear whether Plaintiff ever sought reconsideration of the denial of her application, whether she appeared before an ALJ, or whether she filed an appeal with the Appeals Council. Plaintiff may wish to consider whether she has completed all of the above in a timely fashion prior to submitting the filing fee. If she has not done so, it is likely that this Court will not have jurisdiction to hear her case and the complaint may be dismissed on that basis.

ORDER

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's Application to Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees is DENIED. As a result, Plaintiff shall pay the filing fee of $350.00 no later than January 14, 2013, in order to proceed with this action. Failure to comply with this Order will result in the dismissal of this action.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

20121207

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