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US fights ruling to extend SSI benefits to Puerto Rico

FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2020, file photo the Supreme Court is seen in Washington.
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2020, file photo the Supreme Court is seen in Washington.(J. Scott Applewhite | AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 9:38 PM CDT
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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The federal government has filed a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that Congress has the authority to withhold Supplemental Security Income benefits from U.S. citizens depending on where they live even as President Joe Biden promises to extend those benefits to Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Justice Department filed its brief late Monday urging the Supreme Court to reverse last year’s appeals court ruling that said anyone from Puerto Rico can apply for the supplemental benefits.

The benefits are meant to help elderly, blind and disabled people who struggle financially.

More than 40% of Puerto Rico’ 3.3 million people live in poverty, a rate higher than any U.S. state.

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