Procedural Due Process refers to the procedural rights that an individual has when they engage in the legal system (e.g., right to a hearing in certain situations, notice, etc.). Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970), the first main case addressing procedural due process, says that before certain welfare benefits are cut off, the individual has a procedural right to notice of the discontinuation of benefits, and a hearing to make your case.

Mathews v. Eldridge

424 U.S. 319 (1976).

Eldridge won at trial and the State appealed.


Was procedural due process violated?


Three factors to determine whether you are required to have a hearing before benefits are terminated or after:

  1. Fairness and reliability the evidence is likely to be (reliability of evidence).
  2. Balance of private and governmental interests (type of benefits in dispute).
  3. The extent of government resources utilized (government burden).

He is not entitled to a hearing for social security disability benefits.


Eldridge had a disability. Upon evaluation from a psychiatric consultant, it was determined that Eldridge was no longer eligible for benefits. He was notified, given an opportunity to provide a written statement, but not a hearing. Eldridge wrote, but his benefits expired anyways.


Not life or death like welfare benefits are. As such, for disability benefits the plaintiff’s interest is not as strong.

Additionally, the evidence for disability is more reliable than those in welfare benefits. This is because disability assessments measure several factors whereas welfare benefits do not.


The content contained in this article may contain inaccuracies and is not intended to reflect the opinions, views, beliefs, or practices of any academic professor or publication. Instead, this content is a reflection on the author’s understanding of the law and legal practices.

Will Laursen

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