January 29, 2021•Press Release
$2.25 Million Fund Now Available under United States Department of Justice Settlement Agreement with Amtrak for Individuals with Disabilities
$2.25 Million Fund Now Available under United States Department of Justice Settlement Agreement with Amtrak for Individuals with Disabilities Harmed by Accessibility Barriers at Amtrak Stations
On January 29, 2021, Amtrak began accepting claims for monetary compensation by individuals who have mobility impairments who were harmed by accessibility barriers at certain Amtrak stations between July 27, 2013, and December 2, 2020, including the following Pennsylvania Amtrak stations:
Amtrak is accepting such claims pursuant to a $2.25 million “Americans with Disabilities Act Claims Fund” (“ADA Claims Fund”) it was required to establish under a Settlement Agreement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on December 2, 2020.
If you are an individual with a mobility impairment and you have been denied access to Amtrak services due to accessibility barriers at the above stations, you may be eligible for monetary compensation from Amtrak. Monetary relief will only be provided to eligible persons who timely submit a claim form during the claim filing period which ends on May 29, 2021. If you do not submit a timely claim, you will permanently lose any claim to compensation.
Information on the ADA Claims Fund, including eligibility criteria, and how to submit a claim, can be found here www.AmtrakDisabilitySettlement.com or by calling the Fund Administrator 1-888-334-6165 or TTY: 1-866-411-6976. Information on the Settlement Agreement and ADA Claims Fund can also be found on DOJ’s website at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/225-million-fund-available-justice-department-settlement-amtrak. Please also see the attached Amtrak Notice of ADA Claims Fund.
To be eligible for compensation under the Amtrak ADA Claims Fund, you must certain eligibility criteria, including:
(1) having a mobility impairment,
(2) showing harm because of accessibility issues at the stations listed in the Agreement between July 27, 2013, and December 2, 2020, and
(3) satisfying the claims Administrator that you lived at, visited, or desired to visit a place closer to the listed stations than an accessible, alternative Amtrak station within the applicable time period.
Amtrak established the ADA Claims Fund under a Settlement Agreement reached with the United States Department of Justice on December 2, 2020, to resolve ADA claims against Amtrak for its failure to make its stations across the country, including its stations here in Pennsylvania, readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. Under the Agreement, Amtrak has agreed to make many of its inaccessible stations across the country, including stations in Pennsylvania, wheelchair accessible. According to DOJ, pursuant to the Agreement, “over 10 years, Amtrak will design at least 135 stations to be accessible, complete construction at 90 of those stations, and have at least 45 more under construction.”
As part of the Agreement, Amtrak has also agreed to ensure ongoing compliance with the ADA by:
1) ensuring that any new construction or alterations of existing facilities comply with the ADA,
2) ensuring the provision of reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures to people with disabilities to provide them with equal access to Amtrak facilities and services,
3) providing appropriate training to its employees on the ADA, disability, and accessibility issues, and
4) maintaining appropriate complaint procedures for people with disabilities so they can pursue any alleged claims of discrimination in the provision of facilities, services, procedures, and policies with Amtrak.
If you have any questions about this press release, you can contact Disability Rights Pennsylvania through our intake department at 1-800-692-7443 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.