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Class Action Lawsuit for Denial of Social Security Benefits

Posted on February 29, 2016

Akron Social Secur*ity disability lawyer

A class action lawsuit was recently settled which charged the Social Security Administration of wrongfully denying benefits to certain would-be fleeing felons. The SSA agreed to pay over $500 million to the 200,000 who were affected by this decision. This is an example of how the large bureaucracy that is the SSA can make serious errors in denying benefits, which is all the more reason for you to seek the assistance of an Akron Social Security disability lawyer if you are denied.

The Basis of the SSA’s Decision
The Social Security Administration was acting in accord with the Social Security Act of 1996, in which Congress authorized the withholding of benefits to alleged felons who flee prosecution. The SSA used a computer database which lists anyone with an outstanding arrest warrant. As your Akron Social Security disability lawyer will tell you, the issue is that many, if not most, of these individuals had warrants issued for relatively minor violations of the law, and Congress’ provision only deals with felons. As a result, a fifth of a million benefits recipients were wrongfully denied.

Not only were non-felons included wrongfully in the denial, but some individuals who names were similar to those with warrants were also affected. Therefore, if, for instance your name is Mary Jones, and a court issued a warrant for Mary Jones, you could potentially have been denied benefits simply by mistaken identity.

The Settlement
80,000 recipients whose benefits were wrongfully withheld are to be paid back under the settlement, and another 120,000 will see their benefits restored. The following groups were affected:

• Those receiving special veterans benefits
• Retirees and survivors drawing Social Security
• Those receiving disability benefits
• Those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Anyone with a warrant for violating probation or parole was not in the database in question, and therefore was not included in this denial. Moreover, those for whom a decision had already been rendered in relation to this policy are not affected.

If you believe that you have been wrongfully denied benefits, particularly as a result of the SSA’s fugitive felon policy, you should speak with an Akron SSD attorney. A fairness hearing is scheduled for September 24. You have until September 10 to submit a written objection to the settlement.

What to Do if You Are Denied Benefits
The SSA routinely denies benefits to SSD recipients who, upon appeal, may very well be approved. An Akron Social Security disability lawyer can help you if you have been denied. Call Attorney Oreh today at 216-896-0935.

Social Security Disability Library