Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Overview: The brief challenged a series of failures in the Social Security Administration’s notification and review process, including lack of adequate notice of overpayments, a practice of collecting overpayments from those other than the actual recipients of Social Security benefit payments, and failure to provide explanation or evidence supporting the alleged overpayments. The brief argued that SSA should not be permitted to moot claims by unilateral action, thus avoiding judicial inquiry into their ongoing policies and practices and emphasizes the importance of class actions in these cases.
Excerpt: “[T]he challenges of accessing SSA’s appeal procedures can be compounded for beneficiaries with disabilities…Beneficiaries with intellectual disability can have difficulty handling the complex administrative, legal, and financial issues involved in accessing SSA appeal and waiver procedures, which are challenging for people without disabilities.”
Status: In 2017, plaintiffs stipulated to dismiss their appeal and vacate the district court opinion in light of positive steps taken by SSA to address the barriers described above.
Amicus Brief: Hart v. Berryhill (Colvin)