PITTSBURGH — A myotonic dystrophy patient is suing the Social Security Administration and Nancy A. Berryhill, federal agency and deputy commissioner, citing an alleged violation of Equal Protection By Exclusion From SSI Benefits and violation of Right to Travel.
Leslie Schaller filed a complaint on Dec. 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against the defendants, alleging the federal statute and the implementing regulations, promulgated by defendants, unjustly discriminate against the plaintiff.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff states that she would like to travel to Guam in the future, where her twin and other another sister are, but she cannot do so without losing access to the necessary SSI benefits for her support.
The plaintiff holds Social Security Administration and Nancy Berryhill responsible because allegedly the SSI statute facially discriminates against American citizens, both on and off Guam, by denying SSI benefits to otherwise eligible Guam residents and citizens such as her, a U.S. citizen residing in Pennsylvania with the intent to travel to and reside in Guam.
The plaintiff seeks a declaration finding that the discriminatory provisions of the SSI statute and any implementing regulations that discriminate on the basis of status as a resident of Guam are unconstitutional as violative of the constitution’s guarantees of Equal Protection and the Right to Travel; an injunction enjoining defendants from enforcing such discriminatory provisions of the SSI statute and any relevant implementing regulations; awards of costs; and additional relief as the court finds proper. She is represented by Michael Williams, Susan Davies, Paul Suitter, and Thomas Tobin of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Washington, D.C., and Michael Comber of Farrell & Reisinger LLC in Pittsburgh.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Case No. is 2:18-cv-01625-DWA.