The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) failure to timely process appeals harms extremely low-income older adults and adults and children with disabilities across the country who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSI is a vital program for very low-income people with few or no resources and who by virtue of age or disability cannot work enough to support themselves. Benefits are low. The maximum federal benefit is is just $771 a month. People on SSI are living on the very edge of survival with every penny needed for food, rent, heat, and other necessities.
It’s common for systemic glitches that are the fault of the SSA, and not the individual, to lead to a loss of benefits. Whatever the cause of a reduction or a discontinuation of benefits, if an individual files a timely appeal, protections should be triggered so that they continue to receive benefits while awaiting a decision. But this doesn’t happen because SSA workers routinely lose, refuse to accept, or fail to follow SSA’s procedure to docket the request.
We have numerous examples of plaintiffs across the country who have lost their benefits because SSA has failed to process their appeals and failed to continue benefits while an appeal is pending. their
The Social Security Administration’s systemic failure to follow its own rules, outdated technology and systems, and dysfunctional practices cause serious hardship to millions of people across the country and violating individual due process rights on a grand scale.
We joined an existing case in New York filed by the Urban Justice Center and New York Legal Assistance Group, and, working with the pro bono support of Arnold and Porter, we seek to make this a national class action.