Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Social Security
Author: The Social Security Law Group
Original Publication Date: 2011-03-02
Synopsis and Key Points:
Class Action lawsuit against Social Security Administration after SSA repeated failures to disclose queried information as required by the Freedom of Information Act and 1974 Privacy Act.
Main DigestClass Action Lawsuit Filed Against The Social Security Administration for Failure to Disclose - Freedom of Information Act and Federal Privacy Act Allegedly Violated By Agency.
The Social Security Law Group, LLP (SSLG) announced today that it has filed a Class Action lawsuit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of its clients after SSA's repeated failures to disclose queried information as required by the Freedom of Information Act and the 1974 Privacy Act. The suit comes after months of effort by SSLG to timely secure certain claim and benefit information in the agency's possession, which is essential to the firm's representation of clients seeking Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits.
The SSA, a United States agency which administers a variety of Social Security insurance programs to seniors and disabled Americans, compiles an array of records pertaining to individuals' earnings, claims and benefits and is, in fact, the country's largest central repository of personal information. SSLG, a leading national law firm specializing in social security disability insurance and supplemental security income benefits, requires a consistently reliable means of accessing this information in order to process claims and correct Agency data entry errors on behalf of its more than 3,500 nationwide clients.
"The Social Security Administration is obligated to promptly disclose information when the appropriate procedures delineated in the Privacy Act are followed. At a time when Government is tasked with operating more efficiently and doing more to protect ordinary citizens, the Agency's conduct not only offends the Privacy Act, but is nothing shy of an abuse of the public trust," said Ann Marie Beaudoin, CEO of The Social Security Law Group. "Despite our repeated attempts to accommodate and comply with SSA's conflicting internal regulations, the agency continues to disregard its own disclosure procedures and the very laws it is charged with fairly applying. This reckless pattern harms the right of poor and disabled Americans - many without health insurance - to enjoy a lifeline of income that is legally theirs."
Among the chief complaints outlined in the Class Action suit, SSA has allegedly released some query requests while arbitrarily denying others; instituted onerous procedural requirements; caused undue and unnecessary delays in processing routine requests; has solicited wide-ranging and sometimes unconscionable fees through its thousands of local field offices which must be unfairly passed on to Claimants and Beneficiaries in the absence of court intervention. In so doing, SSLG states that the agency has repeatedly violated US statutes, including the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of 1974 and the Administrative Procedures Act.
The outcome of the suit will impact the rights of all U.S. citizens who are either currently seeking or expecting to pursue Title II and Title XVI Social Security benefits.
Beaudoin added, "Every American has a stake in this litigation because, ultimately, it's about everyone's right to reasonably access their own information contained in SSA's system of records. In our professional experience, these databases contain alarming amounts of erroneous information. When left undetected, these data entry errors negatively impact entitlement to a number of important programs that each of us subsidize through federal withholding, such as Social Security Disability Insurance. Our firm has been committed to uncovering and correcting these errors for the past 15 years. SSLG will fight vigorously to end the abuses we've documented and to compel the Agency to respect the authority granted unto it by Congress."
About The Social Security Law Group -Founded in 1994, The Social Security Law Group (SSLG) is a Boston Based firm which assists Disabled Americans nationwide in their pursuit of Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. With its Branch Offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, and Los Angeles, SSLG assists the majority of its clients at the Initial Application stage of the often complex Social Security claims process. For more information, visit www.sslg.com
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