Supreme Court rules of Congress may deny federal disability benefits to residents of Puerto Rico

A cyclist rides in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, March 15, 2022.

Emily Elconin | Reuters

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Congress is not required to expand the federal disability benefit program to Puerto Rican residents.

The Supreme Court voted January 8 that because Congress treats Puerto Rican residents differently from state residents when it comes to tax law, it could do the same when it comes to welfare programs. Supplemental Income Security, or SSI,.

SSI benefits are intended to provide financial assistance to help the disabled and elderly. The program is open to people living in all 50 US states, but does not apply to people living in certain US territories.

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