New York, NY: (Sep-27-07) A federal class action lawsuit was filed after the Urban Justice Center's Mental Health Project found that the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) illegally terminated the food stamps of over 100,000 low-income people with disabilities. The suit claimed that despite years of warnings from the United States Department of Agriculture, which administers the Food Stamps program, HRA and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance used a computer program that automatically terminated the food stamps of welfare recipients who were approved for SSI, the federal benefit for people who are poor and severely disabled. Sources revealed that most SSI recipients, however, are categorically eligible to receive food stamps under the Food Stamps Act.
In an agreement reached, Judge Richard Berman of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York approved a settlement in the class action. The deal could potentially bring millions of dollars in Food Stamps to thousands of poor and disabled New Yorkers cut off from benefits. The total Food Stamps reimbursement could be as much as $71 million. [ALL HEADLINE NEWS: FOOD STAMPS]