On Wednesday morning Guam time, the US Supreme Court heard arguments for the Vaello Madero case, which may see a change in those who are eligible to receive SSI benefits.
The immediate question for the Supreme Court justices was whether Congress was free to exclude residents of Puerto Rico from a Social Security program that provides monthly cash payments to older, blind, and disabled people who cannot support themselves.
Another question presented is the larger issue of Puerto Rico’s status as a territory and not a state. The territories of the United States are considered citizens of the U.S but do not have the benefits of voting in federal elections and also generally don’t pay for federal income taxes.
This creates a barrier between the different types of citizens and a factor for treating recipients of the social security benefits due to their place of residency.
PNC’s Damen Michael has more …