Lawsuit Paves Way for Improvements in SSI Overpayment Collection

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Oakland, CA—As a result, in part, of a lawsuit filed by Justice in Aging, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and Foley Hoag LLP on behalf of Plaintiffs Hugh Held and Kelley Richardson-Wright and a proposed nationwide class, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued a new policy that provides a significant win for individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits who are married to someone of the same sex but whose marriages were not recognized by SSA when they should have been.

SSI is a benefits program that provides for basic necessities for very low income people over 65 and people with disabilities. SSI recipients married to someone of the same sex were being asked to pay back “overpayments” caused by SSA’s failure to recognize their marriages. Under SSA’s new policy, they should now be able to receive a waiver, or forgiveness, of those overpayments even, in most cases, without having to formally apply for relief.

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National Academy of Social Insurance Welcomes Attorney Kate Lang as a Member

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Lang Joins Nation’s Top Professionals Working to Advance Public Policy Solutions to Challenges Facing Workers and Families

WASHINGTON, DC – Justice in Aging is proud to announce that the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) has welcomed Senior Staff Attorney Kate Lang as a member. Membership is offered only to those who have demonstrated a sustained interest in social insurance as a tool for addressing economic insecurity; have distinguished themselves by improving the quality of research, teaching, policy making, administration or financing of social insurance systems; and are committed to furthering public education, developing new leaders, promoting research, and providing forums for discussion among experts, stakeholders, policy makers, and administrators.

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Married LGBT SSI Recipients Appeal Discrimination Case Against Social Security

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Oakland, CA.—Today, Justice in Aging, along with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), and Foley Hoag LLP appealed a district court’s cursory dismissal of a class action lawsuit seeking to stop the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) demands to recover overpayments from a group of SSI recipients married to a person of the same sex. The suit charges that the administration discriminated against married SSI recipients in calculating their SSI benefits for more than a year after the Supreme Court ruling struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in U.S. v. Windsor in June 2013.

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Federal Court Orders Ohio Medicaid Program to Eliminate Coverage Gap For Low-Income Assisted Living Residents – Ruling Has National Implications

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Cincinnati, OH—Under a ruling Tuesday from a Cincinnati federal court, the Ohio Medicaid program must eliminate a coverage gap that has saddled many Ohio assisted living residents with hundreds or thousands of dollars of unaffordable assisted living charges. The class-action case was brought by Betty Hilleger and Geraldine Saunders, frail seniors who were denied complete coverage when enrolling in Ohio’s Assisted Living Waiver program.

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Justice in Aging finds Gaps in Dementia Training Standards in New 50-State Survey

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Oakland, CA—Justice in Aging (formerly the National Senior Citizens Law Center) today released a first-of-its-kind comprehensive survey of state laws around dementia training. The survey, Training to Serve People with Dementia: Is our Health Care System Ready? was created with the support of the Alzheimer’s Association. As the number of people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias tops five million and continues to rise, there is a growing need for comprehensive state training requirements for professionals who come into contact with people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias, as well as facility-based training. Organized into five separate papers, the survey includes detailed charts with full state law citations. The overall finding is that state laws governing dementia training are not keeping up with the growing need.
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Justice in Aging Decries Judge’s Dismissal of Class Action Lawsuit against Social Security Administration

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Oakland, CA. – U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson has dismissed a class action lawsuit charging the Social Security Administration (SSA) with discriminating against SSI recipients who are married to a person of the same sex. Social Security did not recognize the recipients’ marriages until more than a year after the fall of the Defense of Marriage Act with the Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Windsor in June 2013. Justice in Aging, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), and Foley Hoag LLP filed Held v. Colvin in March 2015 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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Justice in Aging Brings on Jennifer Goldberg to Direct Health Team

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WASHINGTON, DC.  – Justice in Aging welcomes Jennifer Goldberg as Directing Attorney of the organization’s Health Team. She will be working out of the Washington, DC office. Justice in Aging, which also has offices in Los Angeles, and Oakland, CA, is a national legal advocacy organization that protects the rights of low-income older adults to quality health care and economic security.

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Married Same-Sex Couples File Preliminary Injunction against Social Security in Class Action Lawsuit

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Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Justice in Aging, and Foley Hoag LLP filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against the Social Security Administration (SSA) yesterday (June 17) . As the country awaits an historic Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that could bring marriage equality to all states, same-sex couples who are already married and living in poverty have faced extreme financial hardship because of discriminatory actions by the Social Security Administration. The parties seek to permanently stop SSA from withholding or otherwise pursuing funds from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients whose same-sex marriages the agency failed to recognize after the demise of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

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