Previously, I had written regarding the fact that residents of Puerto Rico are only able to obtain Social Security benefits under the Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) or Title II program for Social Security. They are not, however, able to obtain benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The rules exclude many disabled residents of Puerto Rico who have been unable to work. Additionally, this excludes help for most children who claim disability, as those claims usually fall under the SSI program. The reason for this is because the Social Security Act excludes Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, from the SSI benefits program.
On February 4, 2019, U.S. District Judge Gustavo A. Gelpi issued an opinion in a lawsuit noting that the denial of SSI disability benefits to United States citizens in Puerto Rico is unconstitutional and “a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.”