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NSCLC Joins Oregon Advocates to Stop Suspension of Social Security Payments
Thanks to a recent federal court order and the efforts of Disability Rights Oregon (DRO), Oregon Law Center (OLC) and the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC), access to vital Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits have continued uninterrupted for hundreds of poor seniors and people with disabilities in Oregon.
Attorneys at DRO and OLC recently learned that the Social Security Administration (SSA) planned to suspend affected individuals’ April benefits until they came in to an SSA office to sign up with another payee.
After attempts to resolve the matter with SSA proved unsuccessful, and with the deadline less than a week away, DRO, OLC and NSCLC filed a class action lawsuit in the District Court in Portland to compel SSA to continue benefits on April 1 without interruption, either by paying through an alternative payee or by direct payment, as required by the Social Security Act.
Two days after the suit was filed, U.S. District Judge Marco Hernández issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) requiring payments without interruption. Upon issuance of the TRO, SSA mobilized a major effort with the Regional Commissioner and SSA staff from Baltimore called in to make the transition as smooth and rapid as possible.
When an organizational payee is disqualified, as in this case, advocates should be prepared to work with SSA and local community organizations to transition people who cannot navigate the transition process on their own.
NSCLC has prepared a longer article for advocates about this case. For more information about the lawsuit, contact Gerald McIntyre or Anna Rich at the National Senior Citizens Law Center.