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COLUMBUS, Ohio – U.S. Attorneys in Ohio and Michigan today announced a settlement agreement with Huntington National Bank that will make its services more accessible to Social Security Representative Payees (SSRP) and their beneficiaries with disabilities.
Huntington National Bank fully cooperated with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Southern District of Ohio, Northern District of Ohio and Eastern District of Michigan to reach a settlement that will restore access to SSRPs who use online services the bank had previously restricted on behalf of beneficiaries with disabilities.
In February 2021, Huntington terminated the ability of individuals acting as SSRPs to use Huntington’s electronic banking services. Account holders with disabilities and their authorized representatives were thereby barred from full and equal access to the numerous online banking services Huntington offers.
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits banks like Huntington from discriminating against account holders with disabilities.
Under the terms of the agreement, Huntington must provide SSRPs with full access to its online banking system. The agreement also requires Huntington to notify both current and past account holders that it has changed its policies.
Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Dawn N. Ison, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan; and Rebecca C. Lutzko, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio; announced the settlement.
“This settlement shows that we will continue to staunchly enforce the ADA and give Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities equal access to online banking,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker. “I commend the attorneys in my office and our counterparts in Northern Ohio and Eastern Michigan for their dedication to this important issue.”
“Collaborating with our partners to ensure our civil rights laws are enforced is one of my key priorities,” said Eastern District of Michigan U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison. “Ensuring equal online banking access to those who need it most, like disabled individuals who use SSRP accounts, is crucial,” she added.
“SSRPs provide an invaluable service to disabled Social Security beneficiaries, and it is critical that we protect their right to use the same banking conveniences available to non-disabled customers to ensure that they can take care of the basic needs of disabled beneficiaries,” said Northern District of Ohio U.S. Attorney Rebecca C. Lutzko.
Civil Chief Andrew M. Malek and Assistant United States Attorney Michael J.T. Downey are representing the Southern District of Ohio in this matter.
The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability. In agreeing to the settlement terms, Huntington denied all liability under the ADA.
Individuals can also submit complaints to the Civil Rights Division through its complaint portal at www.ada.gov/complaint. For more information on the Civil Rights Division, please visit www.justice.gov/crt. For more information on the ADA, please call the department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TDD 800-514-0383) or visit www.ada.gov.
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