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Mathews v. Eldridge

Law Dictionary
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Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 424 U.S. 319, 96 S. Ct. 893, 47 L. Ed. 2d 18, 1976 U.S. 141.

Brief Fact Summary. A State agency terminated Eldridge’s disability benefits prior to affording him a hearing on his continued eligibility for benefits. Eldridge challenged the constitutionality of the government’s termination procedures as not sufficiently protecting his right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. An evidentiary hearing is not constitutionally required prior to the termination of disability benefits.


Facts. Eldridge was receiving disability benefits. After making a determination that Eldridge was no longer so eligible, the relevant agency informed him that benefits would be terminated, gave him a statement of reasons, and offered him an opportunity to submit a written response. Eldridge did respond in writing. Nevertheless, Eldridge’s benefits were terminated. Eldridge challenged the constitutionality of the government’s termination procedures as not providing for due process in accordance with the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The lower courts found that the government’s termination procedures were inadequate and the government appealed.

Issue. Did the termination of Eldridge’s disability benefits without affording him an evidentiary hearing violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
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