As circumstances change and new societal problems arise, policies and criteria related to benefits eligibility that may have been relevant a decade ago may not apply in the present day.

Judicial Constraints and Entitlement and Benefits Programs

Government entitlement and benefits programs provide resources to eligible citizens or to those in need. For example, Medicare and Social Security Disability insurance are entitlement programs available to people of a certain age or who have a certain disability, regardless of income. On the other hand, Welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid are all examples of benefits or need-based programs that are based on income.

Government entitlement and benefits programs are supported by working Americans who pay a Social Security tax. Social Security then aids the retired, the elderly, those with disabilities, the unemployed, and those unable to afford health care, to name a few. Citizens are often entitled to government benefits and assistance via a broad array of federal and state programs, and the determination of eligibility is governed, in part, by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Entitlement and benefits programs originate from Congressional action, as Congress has the ability to institute and modify programs. However, Congress cannot control the implementation of these programs. Therefore, when the administrative agencies that run these programs create unfair regulations, Congress is not able to step in and take action. The courts can intervene, but only if individuals challenge these regulations. When courts do get involved, they can force administrative agencies to review the regulations and processes they use for determining who is eligible for benefits. However, it can be argued that this use of power is not within the reach of the judicial system in that in many of these cases, the issues do not call for constitutional interpretation.

To prepare for this Discussion:

 

  • Review the article “Government Benefits: A New Look at an Old Gift Horse.” Reflect on your opinions about whether the Supreme Court should tackle issues related to entitlement and benefits programs.
  • Review the court cases Goldberg v. Kellyand Mathews v. Eldridge in the LexisNexis Academic database. Think about the Court’s decisions in these cases and whether or not you agree with them.
  • Take a position for or against judicial constraints on legislative efforts to create, expand, and/or constrain entitlement and benefits programs.

 

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 a position for or against judicial constraints on legislative efforts to create, expand, and/or constrain entitlement and benefits programs. Be specific and justify your response with academic resources.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

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Protection of Individual Entitlement

Most government benefit programs are need-based; those who receive these benefits must meet the qualifying criteria. Therefore, once the need no longer exists according to the particular program’s criteria, the benefit goes away. Food stamps and unemployment compensation work similarly. Qualifying for food stamps means that a person is living in “near-poverty” with inadequate access to nutritional food. Qualifying for unemployment compensation entails an examination of an employee’s past wages, reason for job separation, and availability to find a job. It is not unusual for people to sue for these and other benefits if denied them.

As circumstances change and new societal problems arise, policies and criteria related to benefits eligibility that may have been relevant a decade ago may not apply in the present day. When a person sues for benefits citing these conditions, the courts may decide that new regulations must be implemented. First, however, the plaintiff must appeal directly to the administrative agency. Then, the case may move through the courts and perhaps even become a landmark case decided by the Supreme Court, similar to the cases addressed this week. The courts provide a venue for individuals who believe they are entitled to benefits, to appeal or to question the methodology of an administrative agency.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the article “Gay Couple Win Ruling; A Federal Attorney is to be Repaid the Costs Associated with His Husband Being Denied Healthcare Coverage.” Focus on the involvement of the courts in supporting an individual’s rights to benefits.
  • Review the article “Supreme Court Hears Welfare Case.” Consider the arguments about how an individual’s ability to travel affects welfare compensation.
  • Using LexisNexis in Walden’s library or the Internet, select and research a case that illustrates the role of the courts in protecting individual entitlement to receive benefits.

 

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief summary of the case you selected. Then explain how it illustrates the role of the courts in protecting individual entitlement to receive benefits. Be specific.

 

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The post As circumstances change and new societal problems arise, policies and criteria related to benefits eligibility that may have been relevant a decade ago may not apply in the present day. appeared first on Deluxe Papers.

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