I’m a widow, 64 years old. My husband died in May 2019. He was 61, on SS disability. I was 60. SS informed me I could collect his, as a survivor benefit. I was working during 2019 but a lot of it was FML, due to caring for my husband. After he died I never went back to work but was still on the payroll, until I retired Oct 1, 2019. I used all my bereavement, sick, vacation, personal leave, FMLA, and unpaid leave.
A letter from them states they overpaid me 9,245.00 due to my work and earnings. I filed an appeal on May 5, 2019, and it’s still pending. They are paying me pending appeal. Their own letter says “We may not have to count all of the earnings reported for you in 2019. Only wages you actually earn in a given year may affect SS benefits for that year. Here are some types of earnings that we don’t count – bonuses, vacation or sick pay, severance pay, or commissions that we receive in one year but do not earn in the same year, retirement payments from a pension fund that may have been reported as wages.
In my appeal, I enclosed a letter from my employer breaking down my days “worked” – as my paystubs don’t differentiate between earnings and what I stated before – bereavement, sick, vacation, etc. Also, during this time – and it’s stated in the letter from them – they temporarily suspended processing and collection of some overpayments between March and September 2020 due to COVID-19. I requested a waiver for that time period, also. Anyway, I just wanted to submit my story.