By February 12, 2015 No Comments

As the only national organization focused solely on protecting the rights of low-income seniors, we partner with advocates on the ground who help us monitor issues that impact poor seniors. When a group needs a champion in the courts we’re there, on our own or in partnership with other organizations, litigating precedent-setting cases that benefit hundreds of thousands of seniors. Learn about active cases below and read more about our historic litigation in health care.

 Hart v. Colvin

(U.S. District Court/Northern District of California)

Kevin Hart is a fifty-year old man whose right leg was shattered when he was hit by a car in 2007.  After many surgeries, he was still unable to work and was declared permanently disabled by Social Security Administration (SSA) in 2010.

After a routine disability review in 2013, he was notified by the SSA that he was no longer eligible for benefits. His disability benefits are his sole source of income. SSA based this determination on faulty medical reports submitted by the examining physician, Frank Chen.

Held v. Colvin

(U.S. District Court/Central District of California)

Hugh Held has been married to his spouse Orion Masters since 2008 when same-sex marriage became legal in California. Unfortunately his legal marriage was not taken into account by Social Security when it calculated his SSI benefits. Even though he informed Social Security of his marriage three times, it took the agency over a year to realize they overpaid him.

The agency is now going after him for money he was overpaid (and has long since spent on food and other necessities) through no fault of his own.

Price v. McCarthy

(U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio Western Division)

Eighty-nine year old Betty Hilleger, who suffered from frailty and dementia, exhausted all of her limited savings as a resident of an assisted living center in Ohio. She was found to be eligible for the state’s Medicaid waiver program, but was denied months’ worth of coverage because of the state’s delay in making the decision, putting her at risk for eviction. This case challenges Ohio’s refusal to provide retroactive Medicaid coverage to Ms. Hilleger and others like her.

Clark v. Astrue

(United States District Court/Southern District of New York)

The late Elaine Clark was the lead plaintiff in Clark v. Astrue, brought by Justice in Aging Directing Attorney Gerald McIntyre with Proskauer, Rose LLP and the Urban Justice Center of New York City.

Elaine Clark was receiving Social Security Disability Insurance for several serious medical conditions, including end stage renal disease. In 1996 she was living in senior housing and receiving medical treatment when the Social Security Administration unlawfully stopped her benefits…

Barrows v. Burwell (formerly Bagnall v. Sebelius)

(United States District Court/Connecticut)

This case challenges an increasingly common Medicare practice of classifying hospital patients as under “observation status” without formerly admitting them. Patients are often unaware that they haven’t been admitted and are classified as outpatients, and are then surprised to receive large bills for hospital care and drugs that would have been covered under Medicare Part A, had they been formally admitted, and classified as inpatients.

This lawsuit was originally filed in November 2011 with lead counsel, the Center for Medicare Advocacy. The case is currently under appeal.

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