$500M Government Settlement Could Aid 200,000 Social Security Eligible Individuals

A federal judge in San Francisco gave preliminary approval this August to a plan by the Social Security Administration to pay $500 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of 80,000 recipients who lost their benefits, starting in 2007, after being classified as individuals using government benefits to flee arrest.

The Social Security Administration program was administered via a computer program that simply matched names of those named in arrest warrants to those receiving social security.  However, the majority of class members were not fleeing at all or never knew that criminal charges were pending against them, let alone that a warrant had been issued.

In addition to the 80,000 recipients who are due withheld Social Security benefits, another 120,000 individuals who were reportedly told between 2000 and 2006 that they weren’t eligible for benefits may now re-establish their eligibility.