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SSA Recoupment Class Action Lawsuit - Social Security Administration Kilolo Kijakazi Unfair Amidst Covid-19

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SSA Recoupment Class Action Lawsuit – Social Security Administration Kilolo Kijakazi Unfair Amidst Covid-19…

Social Security Administration Accused of Reducing Supplemental Benefits Amidst the Pandemic, New Class Action

According to a recent nationwide class action lawsuit, the Social Security Administration (SSA) improperly reduced benefits for some of society’s most vulnerable members during the pandemic, including those with disabilities, guardians of young foster children, and the elderly.

LaQuana Campos, et al. v. Kilolo Kijakazi

Multiple plaintiffs recently filed a class action complaint against the Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Kilolo Kijakazi, in a New York federal court on September 15, asserting violations of the constitution and federal agency laws.

According to the lawsuit, the Social Security Administration (SSA) injured thousands of very low-income elderly and people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic through an arbitrary and capricious rule modification.

This behavior has caused and continues to cause injury to the plaintiffs and to the proposed class by impermissibly imposing penalties that reduce their benefits and place their health and safety at risk.

According to the lawsuit, on March 17, 2020, the Social Security Administration closed its offices around the country and ceased some operations, including verifying the qualification of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients.

Social Security Administration Allegedly Violated the Administrative Procedure Act

The lawsuit alleged that millions of SSI recipients noticed changes in their financial circumstances to the SSA in person at the local field offices before the pandemic. However, since the offices discontinued operations, these SSI recipients were compelled to submit financial changes to the SSA entirely via phone, fax, or mail.

In addition, according to the lawsuit, this is generally difficult, and even for individuals who were able to easily report financial changes, SSA frequently took months to review the updated information.

As a result of this shortcoming, when the SSA later determines that the recipient was “overpaid” during each of those numerous months, the recipient suffers recoupment moving forward — resulting in a considerable reduction in each month’s payments, the class action lawsuit claims.

The agency established an interim rule to address the issue, waiving certain overpayments without regard for guilt, but the lawsuit contends that the regulation’s implementation is flawed.

Due to the arbitrary constraints on applicability, many SSI beneficiaries have been assessed overpayments, resulting in unjust and improper benefit reductions, inflicting significant suffering.

The class action lawsuit asserted that the agency violated the Social Security Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, as well as the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection guarantees.

What the Plaintiffs Experienced

The SSA informed plaintiff LaQuana Campos that she had been overpaid thousands of dollars and had her benefits reduced, despite claiming the new waiver should cover the payments.

Moreover, Campos says her phone service was cut off, leaving her worried that her children would not be able to contact her in an emergency. As a result, she claims she suffered panic attacks and struggled to cater to her family’s basic needs.

Tosha Adams, a 60-year-old woman who cares for two foster kids in New York, claims she has not received SSI benefits since November 2020.

According to the lawsuit, Ms. Adams relies on a modest amount of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds to pay for her food. Ms. Adams is dependent on her daughter, who provides her with a few hundred dollars a month to cover rent and other bills.

The plaintiffs want to represent all current and prospective Supplemental Security Income recipients who incurred an overpayment obligation between March 2020 through the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They seek class certification, an injunction prohibiting the agency from attempting to recoup overpayments, an injunction compelling the agency to review overpayments, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs, and a jury trial.

Editor’s Note on SSA Recoupment Class Action Lawsuit – Social Security Administration Kilolo Kijakazi Unfair Amidst Covid-19:

This article is written to inform you of the class action lawsuit filed against Social Security Administration over its recoupment issue with the benefits recipients. We also suggest you to read about the Iowa Unemployment Benefits Class Action Lawsuit. 

Case Name & No.: LaQuana Campos, et al. v. Kilolo Kijakazi, Case No. 1:21-cv-05143

Jurisdiction: U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York

Products/Services: Administrative Procedures Act/Review or Appeal of Agency Decision

Allegations: The Social Security Administration had the recipients of its benefits subject to recoupment, resulting in reduced supplemental benefits

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