New York City, NY (April 24, 2009) — A legal action instituted by attorneys from McDermott Will & Emery LLP and Lambda Legal against the Social Security Administration (SSA) in May 2008 has resulted in the reversal of the agency’s determination that had denied insurance benefits to the children of a disabled gay father who had applied for the benefits more than three years ago.
The father, Gary Day, had sought Child Insurance Benefits in 2006 and provided birth certificates and court documents that acknowledge him as his children’s legal parent. Day’s documentation established a legitimate parent-child relationship and fulfilled all SSA prerequisites, yet he was denied approval of the benefits. McDermott and co-counsel organization Lambda Legal filed suit against the SSA, seeking to compel the agency to act on Day’s application, while simultaneously proceeding with an administrative course of action urging the SSA to reconsider Day’s application and recognize Day as a legal parent of the children.
In a letter issued April 20, 2009, the SSA reversed its prior determination denying benefits to Day’s children and recognizing the family’s legal relationship without discrimination based on Day’s sexual orientation or family status.
Acting as lead co-counsel in Gary Day v Social Security Administration was Lisa A. Linsky, Trial Partner in McDermott’s
Assisting Linsky for McDermott were several of the Firm’s lawyers: Amy M. Gordon, an Employee Benefits Partner in the Chicago office; Elizabeth P. Philpott, a Trial Associate in the Washington, DC office; and Todd A. Solomon, an Employee Benefits Partner in the Chicago office. Beth Littrell, Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office based in
“McDermott has made the promotion of diversity and pro bono services core values for our Firm. These values are reflected in the support that McDermott lawyers, and the Firm itself, have given to the work of Lambda Legal,” Linsky stated. “Our efforts, in conjunction with those of Beth Littrell and the other Lambda Legal lawyers involved in this case, have validated fundamental principles of law and public policy in support of Gary Day and his family. The SSA’s determination that Mr. Day and his children will receive the assistance they are entitled to, confirms the rights of all parents and children, regardless of the parents’ sexual orientation.”