Revitalizing Due Process Protections for SSI Recipients Facing Loss of Benefits

  • Public Benefits

When Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are suspended or reduced, it is common for Social Security Administration offices not to continue benefits in spite of a timely appeal. In many instances, the appeal is not processed at all, while in others the required procedural safeguards are ignored - sometimes leaving SSI recipients without the income they need in order to survive and even leading to homelessness for some.

Over 40 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that benefits cannot be suspended or reduced without first providing a recipient with the opportunity for a hearing. At the hearing, the agency is required to put forth the evidence it relies on. The Court also required that the recipient must be able to cross-examine agency witnesses and present her own witnesses and documents. Even with regulations in place at SSA regarding these requirements, due process violations continue.

Why does this happen? What can be done about it? Discover why these problems are so common. Learn what is being done nationally to revitalize the appeal and waiver processes and how you can be part of that process.

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  • Kathryn Lang - Staff Attorney, National Senior Citizens Law Center