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Beety-Monticello v. Commissioner of Social Security

January 9, 2009

RE: BEETY-MONTICELLO
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William J. Martini, U.S.D.J.

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. FEDERAL BLDG. & U. S. COURTHOUSE 50 WALNUT STREET, P. O. B OX 419 NEWARK, NJ 07101-0419 (973) 645-6340

WILLIAM J. MARTINI JUDGE

LETTER OPINION

Dear Litigants:

Plaintiff Kathleen Beety-Monticelli brings a motion for reconsideration of this Court's December 2, 2008 Letter Opinion and Order denying Plaintiff's request to reverse a final determination by the Commissioner of Social Security. Plaintiff asks the Court to reexamine the additional information submitted to the United States Attorneys Office on July 9, 2008 and disputes several factual findings in the Letter Opinion. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

Since the facts of this litigation are well-known to the parties, the Court makes only a cursory outline of the factual and procedural history of this case.

Plaintiff filed for disability insurance benefits ("DIB") on November 15, 2002 and child's insurance benefits ("CIB") on February 27, 2003. These claims were denied initially and upon reconsideration. (R. 40-43, 413, 416-18.) An administrative hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Christopher P. Lee on February 22, 2005, who issued a decision finding that Monticelli was not disabled. (R. 13-21.) The Appeals Council affirmed the ALJ's decision on October 12, 2006.

The ALJ engaged in a detailed analysis that addressed the five-step sequential process found in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4)(i)-(v). The ALJ found that Plaintiff had a severe blood clotting disorder, which did not satisfy the requirements of an impairment listed at 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix I (Listings). (R. 17-18.) Additionally, the ALJ determined that despite Plaintiff's impairment, she retained the residual functional capacity ("RFC") to perform work which would not require lifting heavy objects or exposure to activities which could result in bruising or cutting. (R. 19.)Based upon this RFC, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff could return to her past work as a fast food restaurant cashier. (R. 19-20.) He also concluded that Plaintiff was not disabled prior to the expiration of her disability insured status, on June 30, 1999, or the attainment of age twenty-two, on November 18, 1999, in accordance with 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(f).

On December 2, 2008, the Court denied Plaintiff's request to reverse the Commissioner's decision. Plaintiff filed the present motion on December 12, 2008.

DISCUSSION

Under Local Civil Rule 7.1(i), a motion for reconsideration may be granted only if

(1) an intervening change in the controlling law has occurred; (2) evidence not previously available has become available; or (3) it is necessary to correct a clear error of law or fact to prevent manifest injustice. Database Am., Inc. v. Bellsouth Adver. & Pub. Corp., 825 F. Supp. 1216, 1220 (D.N.J. 1993). Such a motion "may not be used to relitigate old matters, nor to raise arguments or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment." P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LLC v. Cendant Corp., 161 F. Supp. 2d 349, 352 (D.N.J. 2001).

In order to receive CIB, an individual's impairment must rise to the level of a disability prior to the individual's twenty-second birthday. Walter v. Halter, 243 F.3d 703, 705 (3d Cir. 2001). Similarly, a claimant is not entitled to DIB based on evidence of an impairment which reached disabling severity after the date last insured, or which was exacerbated after this date, even though the impairment itself may have existed before plaintiff's insured status expired. Manzo v. Sullivan, 784 F. Supp. 1152, 1156 (D.N.J. 1991). To qualify for benefits, Plaintiff needs to prove that she ...


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