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Social Security Complaint - Overpayments - People on Disability

Review by mad old lady on 2010-06-23
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- I got very sick at work and was told by my doctor that I was disable. The company hired a company in another state to get me on Social Security. I went to the Social Security office twice and asked what are my restrictions since I am on disability if I would go back to work. I was advised twice that I had no restricitons and could make as much as I wanted. Now they are telling me that I had restrictions and that they overpaid me and want back about $42,000. I sent in a waiver to advise them that I don't have any money to be able to pay them back and that I should not be liable do to doing what they advised. The problem is that they took five months to advise me that I don't have to pay them back but only on my pay. They only did part of the money that I receive from them and now I have to start over again to get the rest of the overpayment waived. They don't tell you that you can get restated first before they can do anything about the waiver and they don't do their whole job. They don't send out letters correctly either. You may get a letter stating that you are going to get a certain amount for a month or two and then get another letter stating you are not getting anymore. It gets so confusing that you don't know which way to go. I have been fighting with them since October, 2009 and still am today. I feel like I live in their office and filing something every day, week, etc. In the meantime my home is now in foreclosure do not having enough money to make my mortgage payments. What is a person to do? If you go into the office there are a lot of aliens who are getting Social Security, food stamps, they give them a home, car, job, and etc. Here we are fighting all the time to get help and no one wants to help us Americans who have worked and paid into everything. I don't feel that we should give them everything for nothing. Most of the aliens work for so many years then go back home being rich. They don't even have to pay taxes for 5 years. They don't pay for anything because our government hands them everything for free. Which puts us in debt and we lose everything that we have worked for. What are we suppose to do?
Comments:20 Replies - Latest reply on 2011-06-07
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-06-23:
It stands to reason that you cannot earn an unlimited amount of income while collecting social security disability. If you were overpaid, then yes you have to give it back. I'm surprised you were able to earn so much money while being disabled.
Posted by localgod on 2010-06-23:
Comparing your situation to a legal alien is comparing apples to oranges,and there is no doubt the system is broken. But the fact of the matter is that you received Social Security payments while you were able to earn a decent living, and the government wants their (our, the taxpayers) money back.
You, knowingly or unknowingly, played the system and got caught. You did not save or prepare for the repayment of the over-payments. I'm sure life was very good when all that money was coming in; therefore, I don't see you receiving any empathy or assistance from this forum.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
Sorry, I don't believe for one minute that the SS office told you once, let alone twice, that you could earn unlimited income and still collect disability.

I don't have any sympathy for anyone that would purposely defraud the programs put in place to help those that truly need it.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
JC, I don't doubt it in the least. Just like one shouldn't ask for tax advice from the IRS one shouldn't seek benefit advice from the social security administration. Those people don't have a clue nor a care.

mad old lady, Seeing that they got you on the wire for 42 grand I hope you have the good sense to hire a good attorney on this one. It would be money well spent. Good luck.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
The first paragraph says it all. This was a scam from day one.

"I got very sick at work and was told by my doctor that I was disable. The company hired a company in another state to get me on Social Security. I went to the Social Security office twice and asked what are my restrictions since I am on disability if I would go back to work. I was advised twice that I had no restricitons and could make as much as I wanted."
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
Kisha, You're just speculating. You have absolutely no proof this was a scam. Why do you make such unfounded accusations?

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
Stew, if I didn't have some experience working with employees that have had to go on disability, I wouldn't have made the comment I did. Even IF the SS office told the OP they could make unlimited income and still collect their disability payments...the OP would have received all of the paperwork that very clearly outlines the answer to her question.

Also, who in their right mind would just sit there and do nothing if this were true? The OP is now in foreclosure, owes $40k to the SSA and has not yet contacted an attorney?? I'm just not buying it.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
I have a pretty good BS alarm Stew therefore I can tell when one is trying to convince themselve that they did no wrong.
The first paragraph tells it all.
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2010-06-23:
My son receives SSI and it is based off of my husbands income. I get the same letters. My husbands income goes up and down due to overtime and my son's SSI payments also go up and down, sometimes we get nothing, usually due to months having 5 weeks instead of 4. I am not surprised that she was told what she was told. They lost 6 months of pay stubs and they kept telling me that I wasn't sending them in, and was trying to blame it all on me. They finally found them on my workers desk, he was relieved of my case.

I have an overpayment also. When my son first started receiving SSI they told me that I only had to report once a year and that is when they will review everything. Well when I went in on his one year anniversary they said that they changed there policy and that I should be reporting every month. I still have the paperwork that says once a year. I never received anything at all during that year and there envelopes are distinct, there is no mistaking it for junk mail. He ended up having a +4000.00 overpayment that they are currently collecting by taking a small amount off of the top of his monthly payment.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
CRH, that is a very revealing story about how those SSI people operate. You have to be vigilant and proactive to stay ahead of their ignorance.
Posted by spiderman2 on 2010-06-23:
Common sense tells you if you need help from a government program you are probably not supposed to be capable of earning an unlimited income. Aren't those programs for people who have a disability and cannot take care of their own expenses. It isn't a bonus payment just because you have a disability. Common sense people!!!!
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
spiderman2, I'd think the same but the SSA.gov website states different.

http://ssa.gov/pubs/10003.html

"Disability beneficiaries’ earnings limits: If you work while receiving disability benefits you must tell us about your earnings no matter how little you earn. You may have unlimited earnings during a trial work period of up to nine months (not necessarily in a row) and still receive full benefits. Once you have completed your nine-month trial work period, we will determine if you are still entitled to disability benefits. You also may be eligible for other work incentives to help you make the transition back to work."

Common sense isn't always right that's why one should never trust 'common sense' when it comes to matters of money. NEVER EVER.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
So...as I stated, if the OP had read the paperwork she would have received, she would have known she needed to report her income. Nowhere in her post does she say that she was reporting her income all along and out of the blue she suddenly owed $40k.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
Scam/Naivety/ignorance/ Take your pick.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
Allegedly owes $40K. I myself allegedly owed the government around 20 grand once for a supposed overpayment. Yeah, sure, I was overpaid for a couple of years but that fact alone didn't mean the government had a valid claim. In my situation I read every freakin applicable and even non-applicable regulation, policy and policy guidance memo I could find. I found a loophole which I used to lodge an appeal which I won.

Like I said earlier taking advice from a government bureaucrat is never wise. Assuming any written policy or paperwork the government sends you is gospel is not always correct. If nothing else the government bureaucratic machine produces so much conflicting and obscure policy and policy guidance that one can always find a loophole if one looks hard enough.

Well, that's been my experience.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
Nice job Stew. You were most likely in the right.
In my experience when one is wrong they blame someone else hence the 'aliens' in this case. Saddening.
Posted by Starlord on 2010-06-23:
The OPs story makes no sense to me, either. I had to fight SSA for three years after my left leg was busted at the knee. At one point, an SSA employee told me I should be able to return to my old job as a deputy sheriff. In Arizona, an officer must be able to run a mile and a half in thirteen minutes or less, based on your age. I told her I couldn't run at all. Every time they denied me, I appealed. Finally I got to the Administrative Judge hearing. He decided that with my age, education and medical problems substantial work was out of the question, and ordered SSA to give me the benefits I had earned. If I work and they discover it, they would take part of my monthly check, based on how much I earned. I understand now that once I reach 65, I can work and make as much as I wish, IDK. One reason I refer to it as So-so Security, no one ever seems to know what they are talking about there.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-06-23:
"In my experience when one is wrong they blame someone else hence the 'aliens' in this case."

Yep.
Posted by mad old lady on 2010-06-24:
OK people I received no info on disability payment or anything and that is why I went to their office and asked the question on how much I could make and they got mad and still told me the first and second time that I had no restrictions. They never said anything about nine months or that you could only make so much per month. The office asked me who I talked with and I told them and they knew who I was talking about. That person is not at my office anymore. So I guess alot of people have gotten in trouble because they had to bring in a retiree to help out with all the claims. I have never played the system and I don't even know how it works. I am not trying to blame anyone except the the way the govt is doing to us who were born here in the USA. It was setup by Roosevelt and he state it was for the elderly who has worked all their lives and had paid taxes. It doesn't say that we should give it to people who come here from other countries. I know that we do pay for people who can't work at all due to disabilities and have to live too. But when the govt lets people into our country they should not be allowed to take our jobs away and give them to the aliens,give them a home,car,food stamps ,etc. When there is alot of people right here who need help and are starving and homeless.
There might be loopholes in the system but I do know that when you get a letter stating that they are going to pay you a certain amount for so many months and then turn around and send you another letter a day or two later that you are going to get nothing. It does get very confusing on what you are suppose to do or what they are doing. They only let you know a little bit at a time or they can't really give you an answer. I have talked to so many people at Social Security that I get a different answer. So what is a person got to do? I have never had any problems before with the govt. I have always paid my bills and I have never been on welfare. I have gone and talked to counselors and attorneys to see what I need to do. I have never been in trouble with the law period.
Posted by person on 2011-06-07:
i really have a bad back/nerve damage,they feel i don`t,i`m sick of foreigners getting aid for free.
i put my years in,had 4 car crashes,that didn`t help my back at all.want me to go to hospital with no isurance or money ,for what.so i can go into debt.when they say no!!!!!!!!

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