How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Stephanie O Joy, Esq Your Own Question

Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 11742
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
10805288
Type Your Social Security Question Here...
Stephanie O Joy, Esq is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

As the Registered Payee for my sister, Ive just received a

Resolved Question:

As the Registered Payee for my sister, I’ve just received a Notice of Disability Cessation letter. The effective ending date is May 2012. The cause: Due to substantial work.


I have no idea what substantial work is. My sister’s trial job started out paying about $600/mo, but has slowly increased to about $1,000/mo. Perhaps this was a factor in stopping the disability payments?


The Cessation letter says that since they did not stop her checks until September 2013, she has been paid $20,000 too much in benefits and this amount must be re-paid to the SSA.


I can easily re-pay this money as my sister has been living with me the past few years and I have been essentially banking her entire disability payments with the thought it was for her future needs. I would prefer not to return this money since my sister will not be living with me forever.


I would like some advice as to the best way to accomplish what I think are the essentials of this situation .....


1 – challenge the overpayment decision


2 - challenge the decision to re-pay the overpayment


3 – reverse the decision that my sister is no longer disabled


4 – re-establish her disability payments


What type of fees can I expect for accomplishing the above?


Thank you.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Lindie-Moderator replied 12 months ago.

Hello,

I'm Lindie, and I’m a moderator for this topic.

We have been working with the professionals to try to help you with your question. Sometimes it may take a bit of time to find the right fit.

I was checking to see if you had already found your answer or if you still needing assistance from one of the professionals.

Please let me know if you wish to continue waiting or if you would like for us to close your question.

Also remember that JustAnswer has a multitude of categories to help you with all your needs from Health, Pets, Computers, Cars, Finance, Law, to Home Improvement, and more.

Thank you,

Lindie

Customer: replied 12 months ago.


Hi Lindie,


 


I'll continue waiting for a response.


 


Ken

Expert:  Lindie-Moderator replied 12 months ago.

Hello,

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX continue to look for a professional to assist you. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance while you wait.

Best,

Lindie

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 12 months ago.
Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I thank you for your inquiry. I have been practicing SS law full time for 10+ years and look forward to assisting you. With regard to your post:

As the Registered Payee for my sister, I’ve just received a Notice of Disability Cessation letter. The effective ending date is May 2012. The cause: Due to substantial work. Ouch.


I have no idea what substantial work is. This is the type of thing you or your sister will have to start to research, if you don't plan on using a professional attorney representative to do the research for you. Here is a start on understanding what criteria counts as substantial work - as you may recall, if your sister is on disability, i meant she was unable to work substantially. If she worked and earned more than $1040 per month in 2013, and slight less per month in prior year(s), that is automatically considered substantial, i.e. her condition no longer disables her from working substantially.

My sister’s trial job started out paying about $600/mo, but has slowly increased to about $1,000/mo. Remember, SGA is gross, before taxes. If she was only making $600-$1000 in 2012 or 2013, gross, this would not be the SGA amount. They'd have to find that whatever work she was doing, was indicative itself of not having the disabling conditions she was originally found to have. HOwever, if she was taking HOME $1000 a month, that could mean her gross was over the SGA amount.

Perhaps this was a factor in stopping the disability payments? The ability to work at all, would/could certainly cause SSA to look to see if there has been improvement in her condition, yes.


The Cessation letter says that since they did not stop her checks until September 2013, she has been paid $20,000 too much in benefits and this amount must be re-paid to the SSA. Yes. If that would cause an immeasurable hardship, she will want to look into asking that the overpayment (unless she believe she was not legally overpaid at all), in which case she will likely want to appeal.


I can easily re-pay this money as my sister has been living with me the past few years and I have been essentially banking her entire disability payments with the thought it was for her future needs. Excellent. I would prefer not to return this money since my sister will not be living with me forever. I understand. WHen you say "banking" it, is it in you own bank account, or has it remained in hers (or in yours named "as representative of XX". If it was moved to your own perpsonal account, such as, in payment of her rent (for living under your roof), her share of utilities, her food, and can somewhat be traced as such, you may be able to argue that for her, it would be a hardship, since she was only living paycheck to paycheck and has no savings...


I would like some advice as to the best way to accomplish what I think are the essentials of this situation .....


1 – challenge the overpayment decision - That is called appealing - so follow your directions in that cessation letter. It likely tells you to file a SSA-561 by a certain date.


2 - challenge the decision to re-pay the overpayment You can refute both the liability and then if you lose, ask for waiver of overpayment based on hardship.


3 – reverse the decision that my sister is no longer disabled That would be the same as #1, since there is only a finding of overpayment because of the finding of not disabled.


4 – re-establish her disability payments - that will happen automatically once you do the above.


What type of fees can I expect for accomplishing the above? If she self-represents, NONE. If she does not, typically an attorney, if he believes her to continue to be disabled, will have a contract that comports with the SSA rules of 25% of back benefit, (capped at $6000 max) IF there are back benefits to be had. However, if she continues to get her payments while appealing, then there will be no back benefits upon a win - so usually the lawyer will require at least $3000 in retainer - it MUST sit in trust account until he wins and gets a "fee approval" from the SSA, in writing. Til then, he can not charge a fee. Once he gets permission from the SSA, he can charge her and pay it from the trust account, if there is enough, the rest from her. Usually, however, the fee approval, if not based on known numbers like 25% of back benefits, is limited to the $6000 maximum (far less if it goes fast), I have noticed, even though the SSA is not bound to that.


Thank you.
Welcome.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions.

Sincerely,

Alexia Esq.

Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 11742
Experience: 19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
Stephanie O Joy, Esq and other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response... T.G.W Matteson, IL
< Last | Next >
  • I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response... T.G.W Matteson, IL
  • I WON!!! I just wanted you to know that your original answer gave me the courage and confidence to go into yesterday's audit ready to fight. Bonnie Chesnee, SC
  • Great service. Answered my complex tax question in detail and provided a lot of additional useful information for my specific situation. John Minneapolis, MN
  • Excellent information, very quick reply. The experts really take the time to address your questions, it is well worth the fee, for the peace of mind they can provide you with. Orville Hesperia, California
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • dylatess

    ATTORNEY

    Satisfied Customers:

    3086
    35 plus years of SSD practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DY/Dylatess/2012-9-11_1968_BHBTemplePhoto.64x64.jpg dylatess's Avatar

    dylatess

    ATTORNEY

    Satisfied Customers:

    3086
    35 plus years of SSD practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MY/MyVirtualCPA/2012-7-5_44024_cookmegan1.64x64.jpg Megan C's Avatar

    Megan C

    Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

    Satisfied Customers:

    3247
    Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1138
    I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/fastfile/2011-12-15_23139_Klein2011small.64x64.jpg R. Klein, EA's Avatar

    R. Klein, EA

    Accountant

    Satisfied Customers:

    254
    Tax matters relating to Social Security Benefits only
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    188
    Licensed in multiple jurisdictions, experienced business attorney.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    137
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CU/Cuttinggirl/2011-10-29_03719_wcrop2.64x64.jpg Wendy Reed's Avatar

    Wendy Reed

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    83
    15+ years assisting tax clients with taxation and eligibility of Social Security Benefits.
 
 
 

Related Social Security Questions