Full Video Transcript
If you've been denied Social Security benefits because of an outstanding felony arrest warrant, you should know about the 2009 class action settlement in the case of Martinez v. Astrue.The lawsuit was against the Social Security Administration for denying benefits to anyone who had an outstanding arrest warrant. While the law does prohibit payment of benefits to fugitive felons, those who flee to avoid prosecution for a crime, the Social Security Administration wasn't just denying benefits to those who were actually fleeing their crimes. Rather, it simply denied benefits on the mere existence of an outstanding arrest warrant. As it turns out, a great many people were denied benefits who not only weren't trying to flee, but who didn't even know they had an outstanding arrest warrant!Under the Martinez settlement, its now clear that the "fugitive felon" denial of benefits only applies to individuals with a specific warrant for fleeing arrest or escaping prosecution.As a result, thousands of people who've been unfairly denied benefits on the mere existence of an arrest warrant may be eligible not only have their benefits reinstated, but also for backpayment. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/martinezsettlement.