Mathews v. Eldridge

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In Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319 (1976), the United States Supreme Court ruled that "an evidentiary hearing is not required prior to the termination of disability benefits and that the present administrative procedures fully comport with due process." The Court also recognized that "federal-question jurisdiction is barred by 42 U. S. C. 405(h) even in a case where claimant is challenging the administrative procedures used to terminate welfare benefits."

Respondent Eldridge was first awarded disability insurance benefits in June 1968. In March 1972, he received a questionnaire from the state agency charged with monitoring his medical condition. Eldridge indicated that his condition had not improved. The state agency then obtained reports from his physician and a psychiatric consultant. After considering these reports and other information in his file the agency informed Eldridge by letter in May 1872 that it had made a tentative determination that his disability had ceased. Eldridge's benefits were terminated in July.

Eldridge's case was heard in the District Court, which concluded that the administrative procedures pursuant to which the Secretary had terminated Eldridge's benefits abridged his right to procedural due process. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the lower court's decision. The United States Supreme Court reversed this affirmation, concluding that, "an evidentiary hearing is not required prior to the termination of disability benefits and that the present administrative procedures fully comport with due process."

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