SSA pays $500 million to People Whose Benefits Were Wrongly Denied

Bloomberg reports today that the Social Security Administration has agreed to pay a total of $500 million to 80,000 people whose benefits were wrongly withheld by a federal program intended to deny payments to those fleeing arrest, the National Senior Citizens Law Center said.

The agreement was part of a class-action settlement given initial approval yesterday by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in Oakland, California, the center said in a statement.

The Social Security Administration used a computer system matching arrest-warrant names with agency data to deny benefits, according to the law center statement. The agency was attempting to carry out a law that seeks to prevent people from using government benefits to avoid arrest, the group said.

Many matches involved false or unproven allegations, minor infractions or dormant warrants, said the legal group, which represented plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit. See story here: