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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 17484
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Gilmartin and I have been on SS disability 15 years off and

Customer Question

Hi, My name is***** and I have been on SS disability for about 15 years off and on, mostly on. On May 23rd of this year, I received a letter from SSD stating that I was reviewed on Oct. 1, 2008 and that at that time it was determined "that you performed substantial work in May of 2007 and that your disability ended that month. Our decision is only about the work that you did and that you are able to do substantial work and that your disability ended....Your claim will be reviewed from time to time to see if you are still eligible for benefits based on your disability. ...substantial gainful work is physical or mental work thay you are paid to do. Work can be substantial even if it is part-time. ...gainful monthy earnings after deductions are over $1130 or $1090 before 1/2016. ..your work now may be different than before your disability began. It may not be as hard to do and your pay may be less, however, we still consider your to be substantial and gainful under our rules." So my question and concern is this--how can they deney me my disability after so many years? I did work for a few months back at the time selling jewelry at a high end jewelry establishment. But my jobs only lasted about seven months. I do not keep jobs in spite of being quite educated (a Master's degree in Education with a 3.8). I have a high functioning ASD type disorder, in otherwise, my social skills stink and always get me in big trouble with co-workers or bosses. I usually get along fine with my "clients/students". I was allowed to go back on disability after being taken off if within 3? years, I still qualified without having to be re-determined again. I did not have to prove my disabilities again. I was then re-determined to be qualified and was put back on SSD. I did not do this myself, but SS did!! Did they loose my records? I called and asked and was told that this was pretty unheard of for them to find me inelliglble after so many years. At that time in 2008 , I also had to pay back about $5,000. for benefits received that they said was overpayment due to their errors.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
This took me about 5 years to pay back--about $100 from each check. I have severe chronic depression, ADHD, right hemispheric disorder, severe arthritis both rheumatoid and now osteo. I need both knees replaced, my back has "spondololithesis", and cervicial degeneration of my spine, my hands have had surgery to remove the "rubbery bones" and make my thumbs moveable again along with the carpel tunner. I have also been diagnosed with a "personality disorder". I do work part time at two jobs; one as a tutor and the other as a support person to a Down's Syndrome woman. I am allowed to work part time, but if I do so, then I am no longer considered disabled! What a quandary. Because I am educated, I am able to do higher level work with a greater hourly rate, but I cannot sustain full time work b/c of my personality (ASD type disorder). I cannot sit, stand, carry heavy stuff, bend over, kneel, or use my hands for a lot as they have already had surgery for the damage to them and my strength is compromised in my whole body. This compounds my heretidary chronic depression and that compromises my "good" decision making and impulsive acts, which get me into "trouble" socially, legally, and occupationally. So I need to appeal this decision (in addition I have to filled out their annual forms stating my issues and physicians that care for me and how it limits my work/life functions)--how can they decide after this many years that I am not disabled? It seems that I need to re-prove my issues and find my records from back then and list any changes/surgeries/medical/medications to me since that time. I do not remember them all!! How can I do this? I do have a form to fill out, which is daunting and confusing. I am working through it, but have many questions for SSD. I am also told that I will need to repay 11 years of SSD back to the government for all the time that I have received benefits, but did not qualified for them. If that is the case I will owe them about $120,000. If I also lose my monthly SSD income of $1,000/mo and have to pay them back--how can I do this and If I lose my SSD, then I cannot afford to work even part-time, will loose my medical benefits through medicare (will I have to pay this back as well?) How does this affect my income reported to IRS, and what we paid for income taxes if I have to pay this back? I cannot pay this back and I will have no medical coverage (and cannot afford "Obamacare" esp. b/c I am married and have income from my husband.) We will loose our home, our cars (which are needed to get to and from work--no public transportation here in NH), and will not qualify for any public assistance or housing, etc. My husband is a public guardian and only makes $33,000/yr. gross. Enough to not qualify for assistance, but not enough to live on--what a mess--help, help, help!!! I will call then again, but it is overwhelming and adding to my stress and ablitly to maintain mental health stability. My organizational abilities are being taxed out and the time-lines are too scary. I hope I can do all this timely and prove that I qualify and that they denied me in error. I was put back on SSD by them way back. I could not re-determine my own disability and restore my payments--they did this--how can they come back now after all these years and say I do not qualify? The government is so unfair, biased, and if we were wealthy, we could afford lawyers for all my issues, but we are not and cannot, so the government wins, we loose EVERYTHING! This is one of our currently many issues that has me terrified and on edge--please help/advise--so sorry my questions are so long, but brevity is not my strength and when I am, then all the facts are not presented for you-all to make the proper research and answers. Thank You
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
This took me about 5 years to pay back--about $100 from each check. I have severe chronic depression, ADHD, right hemispheric disorder, severe arthritis both rheumatoid and now osteo. I need both knees replaced, my back has "spondololithesis", and cervicial degeneration of my spine, my hands have had surgery to remove the "rubbery bones" and make my thumbs moveable again along with the carpel tunner. I have also been diagnosed with a "personality disorder". I do work part time at two jobs; one as a tutor and the other as a support person to a Down's Syndrome woman. I am allowed to work part time, but if I do so, then I am no longer considered disabled! What a quandary. Because I am educated, I am able to do higher level work with a greater hourly rate, but I cannot sustain full time work b/c of my personality (ASD type disorder). I cannot sit, stand, carry heavy stuff, bend over, kneel, or use my hands for a lot as they have already had surgery for the damage to them and my strength is compromised in my whole body. This compounds my heretidary chronic depression and that compromises my "good" decision making and impulsive acts, which get me into "trouble" socially, legally, and occupationally. So I need to appeal this decision (in addition I have to filled out their annual forms stating my issues and physicians that care for me and how it limits my work/life functions)--how can they decide after this many years that I am not disabled? It seems that I need to re-prove my issues and find my records from back then and list any changes/surgeries/medical/medications to me since that time. I do not remember them all!! How can I do this? I do have a form to fill out, which is daunting and confusing. I am working through it, but have many questions for SSD. I am also told that I will need to repay 11 years of SSD back to the government for all the time that I have received benefits, but did not qualified for them.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
If that is the case I will owe them about $120,000. If I also lose my monthly SSD income of $1,000/mo and have to pay them back--how can I do this and If I lose my SSD, then I cannot afford to work even part-time, will loose my medical benefits through medicare (will I have to pay this back as well?) How does this affect my income reported to IRS, and what we paid for income taxes if I have to pay this back? I cannot pay this back and I will have no medical coverage (and cannot afford "Obamacare" esp. b/c I am married and have income from my husband.) We will loose our home, our cars (which are needed to get to and from work--no public transportation here in NH), and will not qualify for any public assistance or housing, etc. My husband is a public guardian and only makes $33,000/yr. gross. Enough to not qualify for assistance, but not enough to live on--what a mess--help, help, help!!! I will call then again, but it is overwhelming and adding to my stress and ablitly to maintain mental health stability. My organizational abilities are being taxed out and the time-lines are too scary. I hope I can do all this timely and prove that I qualify and that they denied me in error. I was put back on SSD by them way back. I could not re-determine my own disability and restore my payments--they did this--how can they come back now after all these years and say I do not qualify? The government is so unfair, biased, and if we were wealthy, we could afford lawyers for all my issues, but we are not and cannot, so the government wins, we loose EVERYTHING! This is one of our currently many issues that has me terrified and on edge--please help/advise--so sorry my questions are so long, but brevity is not my strength and when I am, then all the facts are not presented for you-all to make the proper research and answers. Thank You
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 5 months ago.

The current law is that if you perform work that is deemed to be "substantial gainful activity, you would be disqualified from receiving benefits during that period. It is up to you to provide evidence to Social Security Administration that you did not perform such activity and even if you did, the activity was only temporary and that your benefits should not be discontinued. Unfortunately, the best way to handle this issue is to go to your local office of Social Security Administration with your work history and evidence of earnings so that Social Security Administration Claims Specialist would put the information in the system and get your records straight. You should also apply for reconsideration of the overpayment determination.

Best wishes,

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Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I don't think you took the time to really read my long, extended letter with ALL the details of my case/history. The real issue here is that after 11 years of being placed back on disability after the jewelry jobs did not work out, the SS is just now sending me a letter to tell me that at that time I was declared ineligible for SSD, after they had already put me back on and re-determined that I still qualitied. They were the ones that re-determined that I should go back on after that date--so what happened in the last 11 years? They lost the paperwork?? Every year I have to send an "evaluation" re-determination questionnaire and I fill it out--why would they send me this if I did not qualify or was discharged from disability?? None of that part makes since. Yes, I do have to appeal it. This process if very tedious and frustrating. I am not sure where they want me to begin--what year ( my medical history) with sending them the info about my health--so I will have to call them again! Do they want info from 11 yrs. ago? or more recent stuff or all the years from then on to now? How could they have lost my documentation that I have re-qualified for SSD and give them updates every year?? Also b/c of my education, I can make more than minimum wages when I tutor children, so my gainful may be affected by that fact. I only work about 2-12 hours a week, not substantial in my book, but maybe in theirs. I will have to re-look up the def of substantial and gainful work activities. I guess I can do a lot on my own--I am finding the answers from the "resources" on this site to be very terse and not to be full answers, but I bet if I were in your office paying you $400/hr, your answer would be more detailed and concerned with my issues. I guess you "get what you pay for"--I was hoping for real full legal advice, not the surface and cursory--that I already know and can do for myself as I have stated I am very educated. I know how to read, write, research, I am not a lawyer, so I do not know all or much of the law. If someone were to ask me a sp. ed. question about the regulations, methods, materials, types of disabilities--I think I know enough and am intelligent and caring enough to give the full, complete and detailed answer--that is what people want. I am going to this source as an alternative to paying for a lawyer (since they are so costly and I make peanuts). Guess this type of site does not answer to that degree.