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Yi v. Social Security Administration

United States District Court, D. Maryland

January 14, 2015

CHONG SU YI, Plaintiff,
v.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION and MS. IRAFIETA, Defendants

Chong Su Yi, Plaintiff, Pro se, Silver Spring, MD.

For Social Security Administration, Ms Iraheta, Defendants: Alex S Gordon, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of the United States Attorney, Greenbelt, MD.

Page 667

MEMORANDUM OPINION

THEODORE DAVID CHUANG, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Chong Su Yi brings this action against the Social Security Administration (the " SSA" ), alleging that the SSA impermissibly denied his Supplemental Security Income (" SSI" ) and Social Security Disability Insurance (" SSDI" ) benefits. See ECF No. 1. The SSA now moves to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the grounds that Yi has not exhausted his administrative remedies as to the denial of those benefits and that Yi does not raise a collateral constitutional claim such as to waive the exhaustion requirement. See ECF No. 7. The Court has reviewed the submitted materials, and no hearing is necessary to resolve the issues. See Local Rule 106.5 (D. Md. 2014). For the reasons that follow, the Motion is GRANTED, and the case is DISMISSED.

BACKGROUND

Yi applied for SSI and SSDI benefits on June 7, 2010, alleging that he had been disabled since January 2, 1998. Dels.' Mem. Supp. Mot. Dismiss Lack Subject Matter Jurisdiction (" Defs.' Mem." ) Ex. 1 at 4, ECF No. 7-2. Although both SSI and SSDI benefits aid individuals with disabilities, they differ in the type of program they establish and their scope. SSI is a disability benefit provided to indigent persons under Title XVI of the Social Security Act (the " Act" ).[1] See 42 U.S.C. § 1382(a) (2012). Specifically, Title XVI provides

Page 668

SSI benefits " to financially needy individuals who are aged, blind, or disabled regardless of their insured status." Bowen v. Galbreath, 485 U.S. 74. 75, 108 S.Ct. 892, 99 L.Ed.2d 68 (1988). SSDI is an insurance benefit provided under Title II of the Act to individuals who suffer from a physical or mental disability. See 42 U.S.C. § 423(a)(1)(D) (2012). Title II " provides old-age, survivor, and disability benefits to insured individuals irrespective of financial need." Bowen, 485 U.S. at 75. Given that Title II awards benefits irrespective of financial need, and (hat Title XVI awards benefits irrespective of whether the claimant is insured, it is possible that a claimant can receive benefits under both programs at the same time.

Disability Determination Services (" DDS" )[2] denied Yi's SSI and SSDI claims. Defs.' Mem. Ex. 1 at 4. DDS notified Yi that his SSI claim was denied on July 30, 2010; upon reconsideration, DDS again denied his SSI claim on January 28. 2011. Id. Because it did not send Yi notice that his SSDI claim had been denied. DDS did not review his SSDI claim at the reconsideration level. Id. Nevertheless, Yi requested a hearing on both claims. Id. On November 23, 2011, an administrative law judge (" ALJ" ) issued a favorable decision on Yi's SSI claim and determined that he had been disabled since September 18, 2009. Id. The ALJ determined, however, that she did not have jurisdiction to review his SSDI claim because it had not been reviewed at the reconsideration level. Id.

On November 18, 2013, the SSA sent Yi a letter directing him to attend a meeting on November 25. 2013 to review his continuing eligibility for SSI. See Defs.' Mem. Ex. 2, at 1, ECF No. 7-3. The letter warned Yi that the failure to respond or to attend the meeting would jeopardize his SSI benefits:

[The SSA] may stop your SSI if you don't respond to this request or contact us within 30 days to tell us why. . . . Before we stop your SSI, we will send you another letter to explain our decision. The letter will also explain your right to appeal the decision and how to continue getting SSI during the appeal.

Id. at 2. Yi denies having received the notice. Compl. at 4, ECF No. 1.

Yi alleges that on January 31, 2014, he received a letter from the SSA. notifying him that his SSI benefits would be cancelled beginning February 1, 2014. Compl. at 3: see also Defs.' Mem. Ex. 3, at 1, ECF No. 7-4. In explaining to ...


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