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Author Topic: I am FREAKING OUT!  (Read 3451 times)

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Offline HeLookaLikaMan

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
I am FREAKING OUT!
« on: March 25, 2011, 04:33:02 PM »
I am freaking out because I just received a letter from the Social Security Administration telling me they are going to cut off my disability insurance (SSDI) payments and Medicare.  They cite as the reason the fact that I worked for several months during 2007 and 2008.  Apparently, the amount I earned constituted substantial work and, consequently, I'm not entitled to disability or Medicare any more.  I left my last job in 2008 because I couldn't handle working. 

I don't know what to do.  I made an appointment to talk to the social worker at the clinic I go to because she advises people about benefits.

Have others been receiving notices from Social Security indicating they're being cut off?

Offline leatherman

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,053
  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: I am FREAKING OUT!
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 05:28:11 PM »
I was awarded SSd in 2000. I worked for a while part time during 01-03, and diligently informed SS of my earnings. In early 05, SS sent me a letter detailing months in which I earned XX dollars "too much" to qualify for that month's SS check. In total they "overpaid" me over $9k and were going to keep my check for a year :o until they collected back the overpayment.

I called SS and spoke with a rep. When I explained that I wasn't working and that I was sick again, she said SS could take payments and asked how much could I pay a month. When I said $50, she laughed and told me that the amount had to be repaid within three yrs. I asked her then, since she didn't want to consider my suggestion, what was the lowest amount they could withhold for the repayment. In the end they kept 1/3 of my check for 3 long yrs.

After a year and a half, I fell behind on my land contract payment by half a month. I had already disconnected my cable, internet, and phone, and was on percentage of payment plans with both gas and power. My landlord was NOT willing to work with me (and why should he? I had paid 15 yrs on an 18yr land contract that me and my late partner had signed the yr before my partner passed away with aids. With all those payments and all the improvements I made to the property, the landlord made out like a bandit), and so I lost the house and almost became homeless. (This incident got me to finally move in with my then current partner; however he died a yr later from aids, and I lost his house and car and had to fend off homelessness again. But that's another story in itself).

Those were a hard three years until that overpayment was repaid. You know what was the net benefit of those years working that ended up with the overpayment? I had gas to put in my car to go to work. I was able to eat out at lunch while at work. And I was able to afford cable/internet. Although I really enjoyed working those years (and of course was paying taxes into the system) in the long run, having cable sure wasn't worth the hassle of losing 3 homes in 3 yrs and ending up living back with my mom. I have been offered jobs since; but after relating this story to my potential employers, I explain that I'd be a fool to risk my money (and potentially my health benefits) like that ever again.

I sure hope that you're able to work out something in this situation. Please keep us informed about what your social worker has to say. best wishes on dealing with this stressful, and potentially life-altering, issue. :-*
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline rondrond

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  • Posts: 1,712
Re: I am FREAKING OUT!
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2011, 05:31:43 PM »
I have not received any notice of losing benefits, but then, I haven't worked since 2007, and only just received my benefits starting Nov 2010.

However: according to THEIR SITE:

For those of you that have received a ticket to work that have NOT been on disability for a minimum of two years. Keep in mind that IF you do use either the trial work or ticket to work you will automatically trigger a CDE. IF you have more than two years and use the above it does not mean you will be targeted however just know that it may happen.


Ticket to Work Program – Social Security

 Once you finally become eligible for SSD, SS offers you the opportunity to rejoin the work force through their “Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/work/default.html)

You do NOT have to participate in this Program.

This could be beneficial to some people, BUT there also could be disastrous results occurring.

This is a result of my research I used  in order to make an informed decision.

You can lose your SSD benefits*  if you work beyond certain parameters.

  According to their site:


“How does work affect my check benefits?
First, you should know that if you go back to work, you will NOT automatically lose your disability benefits. The Ticket to Work and special rules called "work incentives" allow you to keep your cash benefits and Medicare or Medicaid while you test your ability to work. For the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, there is a trial work period during which you can receive full benefits regardless of how much you earn, as long as you report your work activity and continue to have a disabling impairment.

The trial work period continues until you accumulate nine months (not necessarily consecutive) in which you perform what we call “services” within a rolling 60-month period. We consider your work to be “services” if you earn more than $700 a month in 2009.  For 2008, this amount was $670. After the trial work period ends, your benefits will stop for the months your earnings are at a level we consider "substantial" -- currently $980 in 2009. For 2008, this amount was $940. Different amounts apply to people who are disabled because of blindness. The monthly SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals for 2008 is $1,640.”

The site to read more about your benefits is the following:

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/work/receivingbenefits.html

In order to decide if this program is for you, take a look at a couple of SS sites.  One is the CFR 20, Part 411, dated 2001, and the other is the new regulations upgrades.  Both sites can be accessed from this link below:

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/work/aboutticket.html

When you go on the above sites, be sure to also explore the listings to the left of the main contents.  

Note:  From reading on the  VBN website, a person on SSD can work for a number of months but if still working after that amount, could be called in for a reexamination and possibly lose their SSD benefits with difficulty in getting them reinstated.

There are members  who are a lot more knowledgeable than I am as to the actual workings and pros and cons of this program.  I hope they will volunteer their knowledge here in order to help others.

Hopefully, the above will provide some information until others can provide it.

*Working could also jeopardize your VA Individual Unemployability, if you have it, which is something else to keep in mind.*
   
Have you received a Ticket to Work?

During the time you did work, did you advise SSA that you were working?

Be aware that if you start to work before your second anniversary date chances are good that you will be subject to a full  CE.


I don't know how long you have been on SSDI or medicare, but

and I am no expert,

it sounds like you haven't necessarily lost your benefits permanently, just that they think you OWE them for a period.

You have contacted your Social Worker at the clinic who is really more informed on what the processes are, so, just take a breath, take a step back and let him/her help you.

It could be that the amount of money made. since it was short term, might just have thrown you into being available for SSI instead of SSDI for that period.....

again, I am by no means an expert on the subject, but I hope all goes well...

Ronnie


edited to add:  aha, Mikie has already been through it...and survived  ;)
« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 05:35:27 PM by rondrond »
"I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I sure as Hell am not where I was"
Wynnona Judd

Diagnosed/HIV
1993
AZT
Norvir
1994-2001
Crixivan/Epivir/Zerit
No Meds for 7 Years

04jul07/DVT-right leg/Bi Lateral PE's     
16oct08/DVT-left leg
Sept '09  6 blood clots in left arm
Coumadin 5mgs
                                     
Atenolol/50mg/2x
Hydrochlorth 25mg/1x
Gemfibrozil/300mgs/2X
Symbicort
Proventil Inhaler
Potassium
Rhinocort


*APR 08~Viramune/Truvada
March08  CD4 330 23% VL 452.000 
*Jan09 Med change~Epzicom/Viramune

Aug09   CD4 523 23%  VL<48
Diagnosed: COPD
Dec 2013: CD4 645 45% VL 49
Med Change: Viramune/Epivir/Ziagen/Isentress

Offline HeLookaLikaMan

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: I am FREAKING OUT!
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 04:51:38 PM »
@leatherman:
Wow, your story is a painful (and frightening) one to read.  I'm sorry to hear you went through that.  I wish you the best, and I will keep you informed.  Thanks for your reply.

Offline HeLookaLikaMan

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: I am FREAKING OUT!
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 04:56:54 PM »
@rondrond:

Thanks for your reply with all the information.  I will be looking into things, and, hopefully, I can find a way.

Offline denb45

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,051
  • "1987 Classic Old School POZ+"
Re: I am FREAKING OUT!
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 05:21:49 PM »
Well, I'm gonna be honest here, why in the hell should I even go back to work, I wouldn't ever consider this, I'm basically retired, and would loose a lot of my monthly income along with a lotta of benefits, I already had,  for years, it just wouldn't make any since for me to do this @ all income wise..

 After working for the last 25 yrs. of my life, and YES, I did have a very good career, and with all of my current health problems  even my own doctor told me she wouldn't sign of on this, even my Local ASO says NO, I shouldn't do it, that's just my 2 cents  ;) but hey, everyone that doesn't have any real health problems, go for it, but everyone I spoke with about this, and who has done it before all wish they DIDN'T  ::)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,837
  • Vegas baby!
Re: I am FREAKING OUT!
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2011, 06:31:03 PM »
He, there are a couple different things I would do (and I'm assuming every state has this): I would get ahold of  a benefits counselor, and not the one at Social Security.  Social security should be able to give you the contact info.  Talk to the counselor, present all your info, and see what they say.  The other thing I may do is to make an appointment with a benefits counselor at Social Security.  Take all your info in, and see what they can figure out.  Social security isn't above making mistakes.  I just wouldn't want to handle it all by myself.  Good luck.  What a pain in the ass.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 04:19:17 AM by BT65 »
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline rondrond

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,712
Re: I am FREAKING OUT!
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2011, 08:16:42 PM »
Betty's right,

SSA is not above making mistakes. Katie and I have received many a strange letter from SSA that would freak her out (so to say) and just by making a simple call allf ears were alleviated by an explanation of a ....

"standard mailing sent out to all that may or may not have anything to do with the recipients"  kind of like hitting..send to all on your contact list...
"I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I sure as Hell am not where I was"
Wynnona Judd

Diagnosed/HIV
1993
AZT
Norvir
1994-2001
Crixivan/Epivir/Zerit
No Meds for 7 Years

04jul07/DVT-right leg/Bi Lateral PE's     
16oct08/DVT-left leg
Sept '09  6 blood clots in left arm
Coumadin 5mgs
                                     
Atenolol/50mg/2x
Hydrochlorth 25mg/1x
Gemfibrozil/300mgs/2X
Symbicort
Proventil Inhaler
Potassium
Rhinocort


*APR 08~Viramune/Truvada
March08  CD4 330 23% VL 452.000 
*Jan09 Med change~Epzicom/Viramune

Aug09   CD4 523 23%  VL<48
Diagnosed: COPD
Dec 2013: CD4 645 45% VL 49
Med Change: Viramune/Epivir/Ziagen/Isentress

Offline denb45

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,051
  • "1987 Classic Old School POZ+"
Re: I am FREAKING OUT!
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2011, 08:49:15 PM »
Betty's right,

SSA is not above making mistakes. Katie and I have received many a strange letter from SSA that would freak her out (so to say) and just by making a simple call allf ears were alleviated by an explanation of a ....

"standard mailing sent out to all that may or may not have anything to do with the recipients"  kind of like hitting..send to all on your contact list...

Humm, I don't trust anything they say or do SSA, when I 1st got SSDI, I questioned the Award amount, and they went back and fixed almost a 200 dollar a month mistake, back in FEB 98, so YEAH, I don't trust them much, they do make a lotta mistakes, and it's up to you to call them on it, or at least file an appeal, funny that some folks get all these things in the mail, I just throw them away in the shredder unless it's really important.......
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 08:56:48 PM by denb45 »
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline HeLookaLikaMan

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: I am FREAKING OUT!
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2011, 12:13:29 AM »
@rondrond, @BT65:  Thanks guys for the positive feedback.  I have seen a benefits counselor and she thinks it will all work out in my favor in the end.  The arguments she has recommended I put before SSA make sense to me...let's hope they work.  I pled my case at the SSA office, but I had no confidence the person I was talking to even knew what she was talking about.  So, fortunately, the benefits counselor has a SSA regional manager on speed dial so at least I can get a solid, reliable opinion about the issue.  She is going to advocate for me, and I'm guardedly hopeful.  Still, this is extremely stressful until it all gets worked out.

Thanks for your support.  If there's one thing I'm learning through this difficult time is that I can ask for help and get support from other people.  I'm 44, and I'm just now learning this.  Thanks!

 


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