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Photo by Ken Maldonado
TimesLedger Newspapers

A judge in Brooklyn federal court Friday approved a class action settlement against the Social Security Administration, which denied claims to more than 4,000 disabled Queens residents, who are now entitled to new hearings, the Urban Law Center said.

The center filed the class action suit in 2011 alleging that five administrative law judges handling cases on Social Security disability claims were biased when they denied the Queens residents benefits between January 2008 and the present.

Chief Judge Carol Bagely Amon in U.S. District Court held hearings before the settlement agreement with the class action members, who were overwhelming in favor, the center said. The nonprofit defends the rights of the city’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.

Under terms of the settlement, the five administrative law judges will undergo new training and be monitored for 30 months.

“Thousands of disabled workers suffering from financial hardship and declining health will now receive long overdue consideration of their claims, said Emilia Sicilia, director of the Disability Advocacy Project at the Urban Justice Center.

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