We often have to help our client’s in the Columbus area understand all of the technical requirements for the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability programs. Both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) have very specific eligibility requirements that must be met in order for your claim for benefits to be approved.
For SSI there are income and asset limits and for SSDI, there are requirements that you worked, that your disabling medical condition is more than a temporary condition, and that you are incapable of performing any other type of work. However, events beyond a person’s control can occur that may cause a beneficiary to become ineligible and cause them great difficulty.
A woman across the border from Ohio in Kentucky suffered such a fate. She received SSI due to an autoimmune condition that made work impossible. She had the misfortune to have her home burn down last year. The good news was she was insured, so she could afford to find a new home.
The bad news was the insurance check placed her above the resource limit set by SSI. The SSA informed her she needed to repay $85,000 in benefits. She was suicidal, feeling that SSA was blaming her for the “overpayment,” but she finally contacted a local News program for help.
The SSA has stated they made a mistake and will reconsider their decision. If nothing else, this shows the SSA does make mistakes and that if you have problems like this, an attorney who understands SSA disability law can be a helpful resource to find the error and help SSA correct the problem.
Source: WATE.com, “Woman’s SSI checks cut off after house burns down,” November 18, 2013