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Good News for Social Security SSI Benefits

A recent settlement involving the Social Security Administration is giving individuals living with developmental or intellectual disabilities (I/DD) who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) a reason to celebrate. The lawsuit, led by the New York Legal Assistant Group, Justice in Aging, and the Arnold & Porter Law Firm, challenged the validity of eligibility decisions made by the agency during the COVID-19 pandemic. Direct Care Innovations invites you to look further into this lawsuit and how it has helped thousands of individuals regain their SSI benefits. 

Good New for Social Security SSI Benefits

SSI Benefits & COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a considerable amount of SSI beneficiaries lost their benefits or had them reduced due to circumstances beyond their control. Social Security field offices were closed for two years under the government shutdown, causing delays or reductions of benefits for thousands of individuals, including individuals with I/DD. There are several reasons for this massive disruption, including:

  • Recipients were unable to provide the information required for renewal eligibility.
  • The agency incorrectly calculated SSI eligibility due to missing information or errors.
  • Beneficiaries could not challenge decisions regarding their loss of benefits.
  • The administration delayed benefits by neglecting to process certain documents.

SSI Benefits Restored

Upon discovering that these disruptions negatively affected thousands of SSI recipients, a class-action lawsuit was brought against the Social Security Administration. There were five beneficiaries represented, but the settlement has benefited thousands. According to Michelle Spadafore of the New York Legal Assistant Group, it will provide “crucial relief by putting money back into the pockets of SSI recipients who are still recovering from the tremendous challenges they faced during a global pandemic.” In addition to individuals receiving the benefits due to them, the agency will refrain from collecting overpayments made in 2020 and refund SSI recipients who were wrongly penalized and had to repay their SSI benefits.

Moving Forward

The settlement with the Social Security Administration corrected eligibility decisions based on circumstances beyond the control of SSI beneficiaries. The agency has also issued specific guidance to internal departments to ensure that individuals who were wrongly denied benefits during COVID-19 will receive their allotted benefits in full. The Social Security Agency has estimated that almost 250,000 people will have benefits added to their accounts, and nearly two million recipients can request a waiver for overpayments issued from 2020 to 2023.

Supporting the Caregiving Industry

At DCI, we understand how to navigate the complexities of Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, and Medicare for individuals with I/DD who require in-home care. Our configurable business management platform, which includes electronic visit verification, training and compliance tracking, and real-time authorization management, helps caregiving agencies simplify their daily processes and easily manage administration tasks. Request a sales demo by contacting us today at (480) 295-3307.

Source: Heasley, Shaun. “Settlement Will Send Millions To SSI Beneficiaries.” Web article. Disability Scoop. 04 Jan. 2024Web. 10 Feb. 2024.

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