Skip to main content

SSI - Patiently Waiting

The follow-up meeting with Social Security Administration was this week. We spent the meeting reviewing paperwork, answering questions and planning for our next phone meeting.

Basically, everything is still up in the air; however, I do believe that we will have to file a Waiver for Over Payment. I do not think that anything I provided will change the outcome. In order for the Waiver to be approved, I will have to prove that (1) we do not have the money to pay it back (not hard) AND that  (2) the over payment was not our fault (hard but not impossible).

With Supplemental Security Income, a family may not have more than $5000 in resources. This includes any money in the bank (checking and savings), stocks and bonds, vehicles and a number of other items. One car is excluded off the bat, but any other car either has to be financed with its equity counting toward the $5000 resource limit.

We do have a second car that is paid for and the value is $4500. We can have $500 in checking and savings. This does not give a lot of wiggle room.

The cause of our problem is because of two unconventional issues:

1. Our mortgage company does not escrow our property taxes or homeowner's insurance. We have to put a specific amount aside each month into a savings account. The savings account is strictly for these two bills. I have told the SSA during each annual review about this issue, and we have been told that it was not a problem. Now we are finding out that it is an issue and counts as a resource.

*If our mortgage company collected our property taxes and homeowner's insurance, then we would not have a problem.

2. When we financed our minivan in 2008, we used our home equity loan because it was a lower interest rate, and the interest was tax deductible. Again, during each annual review, I made it clear that the car was financed through our home equity line. I even have paperwork I gave to SSA in 2012 to show the balance.

*If we had financed our car with a regular auto loan, then we would not have a problem.

Of course, until you go through something, you do not completely understand the ins and outs of a process and the rules and regulations. We could and would have made different decisions if we had known that these two issues would come back to bite us. To us, a loan was a loan and it made better financial sense to use our home equity loan to finance the car. For the property tax and homeowner's insurance, we could have paid the amount monthly to the city and insurance company, rather than hold it in the savings account for each annual bill.

One thing I did, which I wish I had done at all our past meetings is take notes and then type them up in a summary. A copy will be given to Social Security Administration (SSA) to stay in Ben's files and I will keep a copy for myself. I included the following:

  • date and time of meeting,
  • people present,
  • items discussed,
  • follow-up meeting date,
  • what the staff member will provide me; and
  • what I will provide SSA.

I have every confidence in the staff member with whom I met. She was competent, compassionate and will do what she can within the confines of the rules and regulations for our case.

My last post about my issues with SSI generated many great responses from readers. I appreciated every comment, idea and suggestion. I even enjoyed reading the differing viewpoints about whether to bring Ben to the meeting or not. I did not bring Ben, and I am grateful for not doing so. I was there for over two hours, and Ben would have been miserable waiting while information was typed into the computer.

My husband and I researched each suggestion from the comment section, and I printed out copies to bring to the meeting. I asked questions about points I thought might apply to our case. None made a difference, but as long as I leave no stone unturned, I will have peace with this process.

Thank you for the support through emails, comments and Facebook shout outs. Although I went to the meeting alone, I brought with me the feeling of support from many friends, family and readers.

As this saga unfolds, I will share what I learn so that others that come after me will be able to make more informed decisions. I am hoping that my hindsight will provide someone else with 20/20.

Comments

  1. I found this website that has helpful information:
    http://www.ptla.org/how-cope-social-security-overpayments

    ReplyDelete
  2. And here is another one:
    http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/disability-tips/keep-notes-phone-conversations-social-security-administration

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my post. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. If you wish to contact me directly, please let me know and I will email you.

Popular posts from this blog

Catching up with Ben

  I wish I had more time to write on eSpeciallyBen . Ben teaches us lessons on a regular basis: Smile often, give hugs, sit down and savor the moment, grab someone's hand to let them know you care and laugh with abandon–even if it annoys your brother. Ben will be 18 this summer. He attends high school in-person and enjoys seeing his classmates and teachers each day. In the photo above, it's 6 a.m. and he's can't wait to get on the bus. As for most people, the pandemic has been tough. Ben's in-person activities, camps and programs were canceled. He's happy to see grandma when we met on a Charlotte greenway or park. Ben seeks out social interactions and being quarantined away from friends and family was even more difficult because he didn't understand why. Ben's teacher sends me photos of him throughout the week. They just finished a rousing game of catch here.  Thank you for following eSpeciallyBen. If you want to see what I'm working on now, find me

A Lesson on Supplemental Security Income

In October, I received a letter from Social Security Administration saying that Ben no longer qualified for SSI AND we owed a very large over payment for two years of SSI that Ben did receive. The letter showed that we owned two of the same car. I knew this was wrong and immediately wrote a letter. I thought it was a computer glitch. Over the past five months, I have met with Social Security, spoke with several people over the phone and wrote countless letters providing documentation to show the cars we actually owned and filed appeals for the decision to revoke Ben's SSI during the two year period they think we owned these two cars. Tomorrow I have another meeting. I am hoping we can get this straightened out. This situation has caused a lot of stress for us and has taken a tremendous amount of our time trying to unravel the problem. I have not written a post in almost a month, partially because my brain power has been consumed with this issue and the bathroom saga (qualifies

Parenting an Adult Child with Disabilities: Talking About the Future

Ben in the middle with Dad (left), Carla Payne with Aging Care Matters and Mom This is the first of several posts about parenting an adult child with a disability. Ben will be 19 this summer; I am learning along the way. As always, I hope to pass on resources and wisdom. Discuss the future.  If your adult child is able to participate in planning for their future, ask them how they envision it. Let them draw a picture. Ask them to tell you a story. Maybe they can sign a few words that mean a lot to them. Find a way to get them involved. How do they see themselves living? By themselves, in a group home, with another family or with a sibling? Where do they want to live? In another city, in an apartment, in a house? How far away do they want to live from family? What level of independence can they handle? Do they want someone to check in on them? Do they want to find a job? Do they need a job coach or supportive employment? Who will help them with their finances? Is there someone they tru