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Mason v. Sybinski
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
280 F.3d 788 (2002)
Ivy Mason represented a class of past, present, and future mentally impaired Social Security beneficiaries (plaintiffs) who were institutionalized in Indiana state mental-health facilities. The facilities had been appointed as representative payees for the beneficiaries by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The class sued the state of Indiana in a United States district court to stop the facilities from unilaterally deducting a portion of their benefits payments for facility maintenance. Once the facilities received benefit payments, the payments were placed in a trust account, and according to SSA guidelines, a portion was given to the beneficiaries for bills, clothing, and other reasonable expenses and a portion was deducted for institutional costs. The residents were told upon admission that funds held in trust for their care would be used for facility costs. Further, Mason received notice from the administration that her benefits payments would, indeed, be deducted to cover the costs of her care at the facility where she resided. The class claimed that the deductions denied its members’ procedural due process and violated the Social Security Act’s anti-attachment provision. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the state, and Mason appealed on behalf of the class.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Flaum, C.J.)
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