More than 4,000 Queens residents who have been denied Social Security disability benefits since 2008 will receive new hearings under a class-action settlement approved last week by a federal court.
The settlement is the result of a suit filed in 2011 U.S. District Court by the Urban Justice Center.
As a result of the suit, the courts found that five administrative law judges hearing cases in Queens since January 2008 “were biased against disability claimants in Queens, and that those judges repeatedly broke the law in denying full and fair hearings, according to a statement issued by the Urban Justice Center and the law firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher in Manhattan.
Claimants who are part of the class action will receive new hearings, and have the right to appeal if their benefits are denied by replacement judges.
“Thousands of disabled workers suffering from financial hardship and declining health will now receive long-overdue consideration of their claims,” said Emilia Sicilia of the Urban Justice Center.