California’s protection & advocacy system
Toll Free 800.776.5746 / TTY 800.719.5798

 

Martinez v. Astrue

 

Overview

 

About the Settlement of Martinez v. Astrue - Social Security settles lawsuit and agrees that effective April 1 it will no longer deny or stop benefits because of an outstanding warrant in most cases

Social Security law and regulations say that to deny or stop benefits because of an outstanding felony warrant there has to be a determination that the person is “fleeing” with the specific intent to avoid prosecution or confinement. Disability Rights California joined the National Senior Citizens Law Center, Munger, Tolles & Olson and other organizations in Martinez v. Astrue, a nationwide class action that challenged Social Security’s policy of denying or stopping benefits based on the existence of a warrant alone without also considering whether or not the person was “fleeing.” The change in policy affects those applying for or receiving

  • Title II benefits – OASDI or old age (retirement), survivor (widows and dependents including disabled adult children) and disability including SSDI benefits,
  • Title VIII benefits – SVB or Special Veterans Benefits,
  • Title XVI benefits – SSI or Supplemental Security Income benefits, and
  • Those serving as or applying to serve as a representative payees.

In addition to changing its policy going forward, Social Security agreed to provide back benefits to some whether or not they are currently receiving benefits and reinstatement to others who are not currently on benefits. We will post the proposed settlement as soon as it is filed with the court for approval. People will be able to file comments about the proposed settlement before the hearing on approval.

 

Learn more about the case

 

Press Releases

 

Press coverage of lawsuit

 

Pleadings

 

Other Information