Supreme Court hearing case on whether to extend social security benefits to Puerto Ricans

The Supreme Court announced that it will be considering a case on whether elderly or disabled citizens living in Puerto Rico are entitled to federal benefits.

The Supreme Court heard arguments from the Department of Justice in favor of excluding Puerto Ricans from benefits on Tuesday.

Social Security income benefits are available to all U.S. citizens with the exception of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor seems to be an early candidate to support the extension of social security benefits to Puerto Ricans. Justice Sotomayor argued that Puerto Ricans pay their taxes and as such should be eligible to receive Social Security benefits.

The fact that Puerto Rico pays $4 billion into Social Security will likely influence the Supreme Court’s decision.

Justice Sotomayor said, “Puerto Ricans are citizens, and the Constitution applies to them. Their needy people are being treated different than the needy people in the 50 states.”