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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13487
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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I was permanently injured at work in 2004. I am receiving

Customer Question

Hi, I was permanently injured at work in 2004. I am receiving Work Comp so I only receive a Portion of SSD. Social Security tell me that I will receive so much every month as long as I'm receiving Work Comp.
My problem is this, they send me that amount and then a year or so later they tell me that they are overpaying me so I owe them that money back. Then when it's paid back they send me another report on what I will be paid. The problem with that is that it's the same amount that they paid me! Then I received the same thing again. We overpaid you so you owe us that money back!!!!
I don't understand?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Hi, my name is ***** ***** 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:
Are you saying that they send you a REDUCED amount due to WC, and then they say that you are not even entitled to that amount, and you owe it back? I.e. you are not entitled to any SSD payments due to a high WC amount?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
then I get a notice a year or two later saying that they paid me too much and want the money back! Then I get a notice saying that once they resume payments in 2017 that I will be receiving this amount. Well that amount is what they paid me before! I'm so frustrated! Especially since it shows the reduction, what I'm getting from Work Comp and how they came up with the amount that I will be getting. The problem is that it's the same amount for the 3rd time! And then they ask for it back!
I can't afford to keep getting paid for a year or two then going without because they can't get it together!
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Do you KNOW what you are supposed to be getting after any WC offset? I mean, have you done the math, have you obtained the figures that apply, so you know what you are entitled to?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm supposed to get $120 a month. I'm so tired of this Stephanie! So far this is the 3rd time that I've received notice that I will be getting $120 a month, I received it for about a year at a time. Then I receive a notification that they over paid me and I have to pay it back! Well I have never had that kind of money so they suspend paying me till it's all paid back. This time I won't be getting paid anything till 2017! Then the send me another notification saying that with the Work Comp offset I will start receiving $120 per month starting sometime in 2017.
This is the perfect definition of insanity!!
Please help me! The Lawyer that helped me get my Social Security Disability has proven to be useless!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just so you know Stephanie, I have all the correspondence from Social Security.
Also ( and this really confuses me!) they sent me something that implies that I have to pay taxes! I don't understand because I've been told by the Lady that does my Mom's taxes every year that I don't have to pay taxes on Workers Compensation Benefits?
Help me, I feel like I'm drowning with all this crap going on! Not to mention that I really really need that extra money! I know $120 isn't much but it helps.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Hi again, with regard to your post:
"Yes, I'm supposed to get $120 a month. ------ OK, first, to stop the frustration, stop spending the 120 and keep it in a savings account - earn interest, pay back when ordered, while you fight it. It sounds like you are positive you are legally entitled to 120/mo., so that is what you are fighting for. But since the back and forth is driving you understandably crazy, stop letting it by not relying on the 120 no spending it, so you need not keep paying it back.
Then, Draft up a document showing how you arrived at the 120. Support it with documentary proof of how you got each starting figure, i.e. your ACE (average current income), your gross SS amount per month and your Gross WC payment each month. These are the figures you must have had to determine you were entitled to 120/mo. Your SS + WC each month must be LESS THAN 80% of your ACE. Apparently, you must give back all your SS except for 120, as the rest puts you over the 80% of ACE.
Set up a meeting with the SSA (a manager or specialist in this area) so they can show you how they are coming to what figure - and you can show them they are wrong. YOu can also put your organized position statement, with the documentary evidence, together for submission to your Congressperson, who oversees the SSA and intervenes when they have a cog in their procedural wheel. I use my Congress person whenever we have such issues, so I can attest to the fact that the team that each Congressperson has to help constituents with troubles with a federal agency, tends to work diligently to do just that. They have never failed me (and yes, that is surprising!).
"I'm so tired of this Stephanie! So far this is the 3rd" time that I've received notice that I will be getting $120 a month, I received it for about a year at a time. Then I receive a notification that they over paid me and I have to pay it back! ------ OK, so right now, you owe them nothing but you believe that, if history serves, they will later say you owe this new money all back. So again, first, don't spend it, live on your other income and bank it for that rainy day for now, while this is straightened out. BUT, if you have paid back your SS benefits of 120 x NMonths two other years, and you know that you are entitle to same, then you want to fight for those back moneys back again, right? So draft your statement accordingly.
"Well I have never had that kind of money so they suspend paying me till it's all paid back. ----- YES, this is why I say that you should NOT spend this new 120/mo - bank it! Otherwise you may be repeating history yourself. It will be better to get final resolution in your favor with full back pay, not stress about having to pay anything back in the meantime, then get it and then have to pay it back.
"This time I won't be getting paid anything till 2017! ------ OK, so you will not be getting it anytime soon - unless you prove otherwise. So as noted above, get your proofs in order, meet with the manager, and get on the same page.
"Then the send me another notification saying that with the Work Comp offset I will start receiving $120 per month starting sometime in 2017. ------ OK.
This is the perfect definition of insanity!! ------- Yes.
Please help me! The Lawyer that helped me get my Social Security Disability has proven to be useless! ------ That is likely because you have not retained him or paid him for this help. If his contract is SSA's standard, he was hired by you (and paid by you) to represent you before the SSA in an effort to win you your disability award. He did that. Now you have another problem with the SSA and you want him to help, but you likely have not actually retained him to do so. That would typically require a retainer ($2k-$4k), since most people can't afford to work for free (and disability attorneys more so than others, since we voluntarily put in a TON of pro bono as it is, usually for the very poor) as well as your proofs that support that you SHOULD be getting 120/mo. It could also be that he is not comfortable representing on WC liens/offsets, as it is not a part of disability work itself, so you may have to hire a lawyer other than him, by shopping around.
If $2k-$4k as retainer is unaffordable (which I totally understand!), you may want to find an attorney that provides a la carte consulting services, rather than outright representation. There is no retainer required because you are not getting contingent representation before the SSA, but consulting services, be they via email, phone time, document review etc./help so you can better represent yourself. We provide both representation and consultancy services, if you seek such additional services. I will add a button for 'additional services' in terms of expanding on any of the issues in this post, should you desire that. But if you merely need clarification of a part of my answer, please feel free to reply right here at no additional cost.
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 can still assist with clarifications after you do so. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have Social Security legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To Stephanie O. Joy Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.
Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.
Your online Social Security legal resource!
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, I see no follow up from you. Is everything clear with regard to your original question and the answer to same?