Overpayment and hearing request nightmare

In July 2012 my husband was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia at 50 ys old.. He was in the hospital for 7 months with a few brief home stays. Although 3 rounds of chemo killed the blast cells it was determined due to a genetic defect the disease would most likely return so he would need a bone marrow transplant. The transplant took place on Dec 21 2012. He would not be able to be in public for several months. Not everyone survives so he put in paperwork for disability. In June of 2013 we received a direct deposit of $15,000. Smaller payments continued monthly. Luckily he was able to return to work in August of 2013. Social security came to the conclusion in Jan 2014 that he went to work to early and wanted the money back. We contacted a social security lawyer who suggested we request a hearing. In March I went to SS and got a stamped receipt that we requested a hearing. Then we heard nothing for 10 months. A payment sent to the IRS for taxes was rerouted to SS. They took $13000. At that point we had about $27000 in payments. When I called and said I never received a hearing date they said no request was ever received. I faxed the stamped request. Again after several months they said they never received. Which again was faxed. Finally after 5 faxes they said they had possession and we finally had a hearing date. The judge ruled in our favor that we could keep the remainder. Two months later $75000 was deposited into our account and again several months of smaller payments came regularly adding up to over $115000. Then once again a letter came that the money was sent in error. After several negotiations a figure of repayment was agreed upon. Started out at $400 a month which we paid regularly but once again they took an IRS payment that completely screwed up the taxes. When I complained as to why they would take the IRS money when we were paying regularly they had no answer. They reduced the monthly to $250. We have been paying it back since 2015. At this point we owe about $18000. My problem with this whole issue is a large deposit like $75000 should have several people review this before it is given in error. There should be case workers dedicated to each case so a person that has these issues is not looped around. Records of hearing requests disappear? We are in our 60’s and have this never ending debt handing over us. My husband had a very serious illness and was out of work for one year. My husband has now made it to the 10 year mark so in the big picture this seems a small annoyance. We were lucky in the fact we knew a legal mind familiar with Social Security. This system is overpaying and then wanting money back is happening too often, as it happened to us twice! I had to laugh when I saw the story on 60 minutes because I always said we should tell our story to the media.

Terry Says

Well, now you have.  Yet another example of how messed up SS truly is.

Thank you for posting.  Sharing your story helps others understand they are not alone.  And it helps us pressure the  Congress to fix these situations immediately.  I don’t think anyone has ever gathered all these stories together in one place so people in power can see the impact of this cruel and inept Social Security bureaucracy.

Here’s what we are aiming for — as fast as possible!

  1. Complete Moratorium on Clawbacks
  2. Reinstatement of all suspended benefits
  3. An independent hearing on EACH case before any demands or cuts
  4. An 18-month Statute of Limitations on Clawbacks

Sharing YOUR story helps us help others!  Thank you!