BUTZNER, Senior Circuit Judge:
Paul Guthrie appeals from an order of the district court denying his motion for attorney's fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA).
In April 1979, Guthrie filed an application for Social Security disability benefits. The Secretary denied his claim initially and upon reconsideration. The denial was upheld by an Administrative Law Judge after a hearing, and the Appeals Council affirmed the ALJ's decision.
Guthrie then sought judicial review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)
The Appeals Council reconsidered the application and made a new decision that was partially favorable to Guthrie. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the Secretary filed with the district court the new decision and the transcript of proceedings on remand. Because the Appeals Council's decision was only partially favorable, Guthrie renewed his motion for summary judgment and the Secretary then renewed his cross-motion.
Despite the requirement of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the Secretary filed nothing with the district court concerning the outcome of the second remand. On July 29, 1982, Guthrie filed copies of the ALJ's decision on the second remand and the Secretary's final decision and moved for affirmance of the decision and entry of a final judgment. On the same date, Guthrie filed a motion, pursuant to the EAJA, for attorney's fees incurred before the district court. The Secretary opposed any award of fees under the EAJA.
The district court denied Guthrie's motion on the ground that he had not filed a timely application. The EAJA requires a party seeking fees to apply to the court within 30 days of final judgment in the action. 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(B). Guthrie's application, the court held, was filed well in excess of 30 days after its order of September 8, 1981, remanding the case to the Secretary for the second time, and the Appeals Council's decision of April 28, 1982, awarding full benefits. The court also stated, apparently as an alternative reason upon which it need not rest, that it was inclined to hold the EAJA does not apply to Social Security Act cases. Guthrie now appeals.
Nothing in the text or legislative history of the EAJA indicates that the phrase "final judgment" was to have any meaning other than that of Fed.R.Civ.P. 54. Rule 54 defines judgment as "a decree and any order from which an appeal lies." Accord McQuiston v. Marsh, 707 F.2d 1082, 1085 (9th Cir.1983). Thus, the second remand order cannot be the requisite final judgment, because remand orders in Social Security cases are not final, appealable orders. See Gilcrist v. Schweiker, 645 F.2d 818, 818-19 (9th Cir.1981).
The final decision of the Appeals Council also cannot be the requisite final judgment. The EAJA draws a clear distinction between final administrative actions and final judicial actions. Compare 5 U.S.C. § 504(a)(2) (Cum.Supp.1983) with 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(B) (Cum.Supp.1983). Indeed, the Secretary in his brief notes that he "takes the position that an administrative decision cannot constitute a `final judgment' for purposes of the EAJA."
Furthermore, the procedure set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) contemplates additional action both by the Secretary and a district court before a civil action is concluded following a remand. The Secretary must file any "additional and modified findings of fact and decision, and a transcript of the additional record and testimony...." The district court then may enter a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the Secretary's decision. Here, the Secretary did not file anything and the district court did not enter any order, after completion of the proceedings on remand. Guthrie's application could not have been filed more than 30 days after final judgment in the action, because no final judgment was entered.
On remand the district court should direct the Secretary to file the papers required by § 405(g). When this has been done, the district court should enter a final judgment and Guthrie's attorney may reapply for fees in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(B).
As an alternative reason for its decision, the district court stated that it was inclined to rule the EAJA does not apply to Social Security cases. Both parties fully briefed and argued this issue on appeal. Because it raises solely a question of law, we see no reason to remand this issue to the district court.
The House Report accompanying the EAJA states that changes were made "[t]o exclude administrative proceedings under the Social Security Act. There was much discussion whether the United States should be liable when it is a named party and represented in a civil action under the Social Security Act. The Committee decided that civil actions should be covered."
The Secretary also relies on language in the EAJA that makes it subject to other statutes. Section 2412(d)(1)(A) states that a court may award attorney's fees "[e]xcept as otherwise specifically provided by statute...." Section 206 of the Act provides that nothing in the EAJA "alters, modifies, repeals, invalidates, or supersedes any other provision of Federal law which authorizes an award of such fees...."
The legislative history again belies the validity of this contention. The legislative history indicates the conditional language applies only to existing fee-shifting statutes where awards against the government are authorized.
We express no opinion on the merits of the fee application and hold only that it was not untimely and that it was within the purview of the EAJA.
The judgment of the district court is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.