Capitol Correspondence - 04.26.22

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Extension of SSI Benefits to Residents of Puerto Rico

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On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Vaello Madero that the U.S. Constitution does not require Congress to extend Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to residents of Puerto Rico. The decision was 8-1 with Justice Sotomayor dissenting. In her dissent, Justice Sotomayor stated “Congress’ decision to deny to the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico a social safety net that it provides to almost all other U.S. citizens is especially cruel given those citizens’ dire need for aid. Puerto Rico has a disproportionately large population of seniors and people with disabilities. . . . Equal treatment of citizens should not be left to the vagaries of the political process.”