Pagan-Lisboa v. Social Security Administration, No. 20-1377 (1st Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
In this case arising from what the Social Security Administration (SAA) did to Appellants, Marie Pagan-Lisboa and Daniel Justiniano-Ramirez, after Jose Hernandez-Gonzalez and Samuel Torres-Crespo admitted to fraudulently helping people get disability-insurance benefits from the SAA, the First Circuit held that Appellants were entitled to a new redetermination proceeding.
With the help of Hernandez-Gonzalez and Torres-Crespo, Pagan-Lisboa applied for and started getting disability benefits from the SAA. An ALJ determined that Pagan-Lisboa did not have sufficient evidence to support her initial benefits claim and terminated her benefits. An ALJ also canceled Justiniano-Ramirez's benefits benefits on the grounds that Hernandez-Gonzalez had provided fraudulent evidence in support of the benefits. Thereafter, Appellants sued a putative class action, arguing that the SAA could not terminate their benefits without letting them contest the existence of fraud in their cases. The court of appeals affirmed the ALJ's decision in Justiniano-Ramírez's case and remanded Pagan-Lisboa's case back to the agency. The First Circuit held (1) the judge erred in not accepting Justiniano-Ramírez's amended complaint, which showed that he had exhausted his administrative remedies; and (2) the judge did not wrongly dismiss Appellants' policy challenges to the redetermination procedure.