Justia Public Benefits Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Massachusetts Supreme Court
Finch & others v. Commonwealth Health Ins. Connector Auth. & others
This case involved Commonwealth Care, a state-initiated program that provided structured premium assistance for low-income Massachusetts residents. In 2009, the Legislature made certain changes to the eligibility requirements of Commonwealth Care, enacted in a two-part supplemental appropriation for fiscal year 2010. Section 31(a) of the appropriation excluded all aliens who were federally ineligible under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), 8 U.S.C. 1601-1646, from participation in Commonwealth Care. Plaintiffs were individuals who either have been terminated from Commonwealth Care or have been denied eligibility solely as a result of their alienage. The court held that section 31(a) could not pass strict scrutiny and that the discrimination against legal immigrants that its limiting language embodied violated their rights to equal protection under the Massachusetts Constitution. View "Finch & others v. Commonwealth Health Ins. Connector Auth. & others" on Justia Law
Connolly v. Director of the Division of Unemployment Assistance, et al.
This action arose when claimant, a former customer service representative for Verizon New England, Inc. ("Verizon"), was denied unemployment benefits. At issue was whether the board of review of the division of unemployed assistance ("board") erred because Verizon took the "last step" in the termination process that entitled claimant to unemployment benefits. The court affirmed the judgment of the district court, which affirmed the decision of the board, to deny claimant benefits because the court agreed with the board's conclusion that the claimant did not meet her burden of showing that her decision to leave was involuntary, where she was not compelled to apply for the termination, did not believe her job was in jeopardy, and left in part for personal reasons.