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Congress Urged to Exempt German War Reparations from Taxable Income for Determining Eligibility in a

The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith has urged Congress to pass legislation exempting German war reparations from countable income for determining eligibility in a U.S. federal assistance program for the disabled and elderly.

The ADL’s national executive committee took this action during its recent meeting in Los Angeles, thus giving support to a bill introduced in the House of Representatives in June by Rep, Henry Waxman (D. Calif.) The bill would amend the Social Security Act to exclude reparations from West Germany under the federal law dealing with compensation of victims of Nazi persecution.

The case grew out of a 1980 ruling by the Social Security Administration against Felicia Grunfeder, a Polish Jew born in 1938, who was sent to a concentration camp by the Nazis in World War II. Ms. Grunfeder has been receiving West German war reparations since 1968. She has also been given supplemental income benefits under the Social Security Act since 1974 on the basis of psychological disability incurred as the result of her concentration camp experiences.

The agency ruled that Ms. Grunfeder could no longer receive the U.S. supplemental income because the combined total of both payments exceeded the eligibility minimum. The Social Security Administration decision was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in June, 1983. Ms, Grunfeder has filed a motion with the court seeking a rehearing of her claim.