Amtrak Begins Compensating People with Disabilities Facing Barriers at Stations

February 4, 2021
Amtrak Begins Compensating People with Disabilities Facing Barriers at Stations

For Immediate Release

Contact:  David Card
202.408.9514 x122

[email protected] 

WASHINGTON, DC – People with mobility disabilities who encountered inaccessible Amtrak stations can begin submitting claims for monetary compensation. Claims must be submitted by May 29, 2021. 

Amtrak created the compensation fund as part of a settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) which found the railroad had engaged in disability discrimination violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

Amtrak was given twenty years after the ADA was passed in 1990 to make stations accessible, but by 2010 had failed to make progress. An investigation in 2013 by the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) found numerous barriers at stations all over the country. NDRN then submitted a complaint to the Department of Justice which spurred their investigation and eventual settlement with Amtrak. 

“Transportation is the linchpin of community integration,” said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker. “Without it, many people with disabilities cannot go to work, go shopping, visit their friends and family, or accomplish many of the day-to-day tasks necessary to live in the community.”

Per the agreement, Amtrak will bring its inaccessible stations into compliance with the law while offering financial compensation to people negatively impacted through the establishment of the victim’s compensation fund. 

According to the DOJ, to be eligible for monetary compensation, an individual must: 

  • Have a mobility disability;
  • Be harmed physically or emotionally because of accessibility issues, including, for example, inaccessible parking; steep slopes or steps to get to the station; lack of directional signs; toilet rooms with inaccessible entrances, stalls, or sinks; high ticket counters; deteriorated platforms; and narrow routes at stations, at one or more the stations listed below between July 27, 2013, and Dec. 2, 2020; 
  • Have lived at, visited, or desired to visit a place closer to one or more of the stations listed here than an accessible, alternative Amtrak station; and  
  • Submit a claim form and declaration by mail, fax, email or online to the claims administrator by no later than May 29, 2021.  Help is available from the settlement administrator for those who are unable to complete the claim form due to a disability. 

Questions about making claims should be directed to the settlement administrator by any of the following methods: 

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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.