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Social Security Administration Agrees to Unprecedented Settlement re: Discrimination Against Mentally/Developmentally Disabled Individuals

June 19, 2012
Source: People with Disabilities Foundation E-newsletter - Special Edition: Focus on Mental Disabilities

People with Disabilities Foundation (PWDF) has reached an unprecedented settlement with the Social Security Administration (SSA) in two cases alleging discrimination against mentally/developmentally disabled individuals, under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) which, unlike the ADA, applies to federal agencies.

Plaintiffs Davis and Doe argued that the SSA continually, over the course of many years, discriminated against them by failing to effectively communicate regarding complex SSA rules. Both clients had their social security benefits terminated and or reduced to zero, but were not informed in a manner in which they could understand and respond, due to their psychiatric and/or developmental disabilities. Their impairments include chronic schizophrenia, cognitive and intellectual challenges, severe anxiety, depression, autism and functional illiteracy.

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