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Court Ruling Restores SSI Benefits

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A ruling in a New York federal court is requiring the Social Security Administration to restore benefits to eligible people who may have a warrant out for their arrest.

According to the National Senior Citizens Law Center, an advocacy group for low-income seniors, as many as 100,000 people could benefit from the ruling in Clark v. Astrue that was issued earlier this month. The government had denied Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits to people with outstanding warrants for alleged parole or probation violations.

Greg Gibson, housing administrator for Austin Travis County Integral Care, doesn’t know exactly how many people in Central Texas will be affected by the ruling, but that he knows people locally who have avoided applying for benefits for that reason.

“Quite often, it’s maybe a minor warrant, something that’s easily taken care of, or there’s not a warrant at all,” Gibson told KUT News.

He adds that the ruling may bring some people back into the SSI system, and that is putting a heavier burden on the price of health care.

“These people delay seeking medical care. When they do arrive for medical care, they arrive in a much sicker condition, a much more expensive to treat.”

The ruling orders the Social Security Administration to pay relief to people who applied for the income, but were denied of a warrant.

Ian Crawford joined KUT as News Editor in 2008, after spending over four years as a reporter/anchor at KLBJ Radio in Austin. He began his broadcasting career while still in high school in Southern Oregon. During high school and college at the University of Oregon, he worked at times as a reporter, news anchor, sports play-by-play reporter, music host and commercial producer before moving to Texas in 2003.