Feds appeal Guam social security benefits case


The fight for equal treatment for all Americans continues as the Social Security Administration has filed an appeal to the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in hopes of overturning the District Court of Guam’s decision in the Katrina Schaller case.

Two months ago, District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood ruled in favor of Katrina Schaller a Guam resident who was denied SSI benefits for her disability, simply because she resides in a US Territory.

The appeal, filed by SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul, requested that the case be dismissed was denied.

Gatewood, instead, granted Schaller’s motion for summary judgment — a decision which has also been granted in a similar case in Puerto Rico.

In her June 19th order, Gatewood stated: “Having considered all the grounds proffered by the United States, the court finds that there is no rational basis for excluding plaintiff from receiving SSI benefits based solely on her residency in Guam.”


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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.