Court Rules Social Security Admin Unlawfully Cut Benefits

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A New York federal appeals court recently ruled that the Social Security Administration was cutting off people's benefits without sufficient proof that they had violated parole or probation. WNYC's Cindy Rodriguez reports.

REPORTER: A provision in the 1996 welfare reform bill allows for the Social Security Administration to suspend benefits for people who've violated parole or probation. But a lawsuit alleges that the Social Security Administration was using an outdated and inaccurate warrant list to determine violations. Plaintiff Tony Gonzalez says his retirement benefits were suspended for five years based on a warrant from 1962.

GONZALEZ: For an old joy riding charge that we had gotten when we were kids which I had gotten some probation on and had completed the probation and was done with it.

REPORTER: Lawyers for Gonzalez and four other plaintiffs say over a hundred thousand people have had their benefits wrongly suspended in the last 10 years. They are trying to get class action status for the case. Attorneys for the Social Security Administration would not comment on the case.