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Pro Bono Medical-Legal Partnership Team Obtains $16k SSI Waiver for Dorchester House Patient

Tags: Pro Bono

A Ropes & Gray medical-legal partnership team working on a pro bono basis sought reconsideration of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) decision to assess a nearly $16,000 overpayment in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits against a patient at DotHouse Health (Dorchester House) in Boston. In a significant victory for the client, the Ropes & Gray team successfully corrected the SSA’s miscalculation of countable resources and obtained a waiver for the full amount.

In 2019, the SSA terminated the patient’s SSI based on her husband’s withdrawal of pension funds from his retirement account. The SSA incorrectly deemed these funds countable resources of the patient, assessed the patient as ineligible for continued SSI, and sought repayment to the SSA of past benefits paid to the patient. In addition to the waiver of alleged overpayment obtained for the patient, the team will use the SSA’s admission as additional evidence in their appeal to reinstate the patient’s SSI and seek back payment for benefits owed after improper termination.

The Ropes & Gray team was led by life sciences regulatory & compliance associate Jessica DeLalio, real estate associate Nicole Karatzas, and health care associate Chris Gillis. Their work was overseen and supported by Ropes & Gray’s award-winning medical-legal partnership team, including litigation & enforcement associates Mark Gaioni and Chris Nienhaus, and by Greater Boston Legal Services.

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