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

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

Emily Elconin | Reuters

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Congress is not required to extend a federal disability benefits program to residents of Puerto Rico.

The high court voted 8-1 that because Congress treats Puerto Rico residents differently from those residing in the states when it comes to tax laws, it can do the same when it comes to the Supplemental Income Security, or SSI, benefits program.

SSI benefits are meant to offer financial assistance to help disabled and elderly people. The program is available to people living in the 50 US states, but not to those living in some US territories.

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