California Employment Law

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Upon retirement at 63 years old, I filed for SSI two years…

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Upon retirement at 63...

Upon retirement at 63 years old, I filed for SSI two years ago as a retired teacher. The SSA worker told me that I was exempt from the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), as it applied to educators. I submitted all pertinent documents at the time, but the worker assumed that my 30 years of SSA deductions exempted me from the WEP, when they in fact did not. I was unaware of the error, and assumed the SSA was correct. Now, they want $7,000.00 from me in overpayment. I understand and accept that my SSI had to be cut by 45% under the WEP last month, but I do not want to repay the $6,998.00 in over payment. I have completed all the waiver forms and provided all documents, but they insist that I was at fault and that I do not qualify to have the overpayment waived. I disagree, the language to qualify for a waiver states: financial hardship, (which I do not qualify for), is unfair OR that it was NOT MY FAULT. I maintain that this error was not my fault and it is not fair that I should have to repay it now. I have acted in good faith all along, they made the error. I do not think I should have to repay.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because education law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

California

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

I served 32 years a FTE high school math teacher

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

They want to take all of my original $730/mo. to repay. Even though I have a teacher retirement and VA disability from Vietnam, $730 each month is a serious financial setback for me.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: California Employment Law
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Answered in 36 minutes by:
10/4/2017
California Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,309
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

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California Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago

Even though the overpayment was not your fault, which would exempt you from paying interest and penalties, they have a right to recover the overpayment. So, if you do not qualify for the exemption for financial hardship, legally they can make you repay the money and deduct it from future payment. Only the director of SSA can waive reimbursement, so even if you do not qualify for financial hardship, you should still file asking for the exemption for financial hardship and do the best you can to make your case, because aside from that exemption the only other recourse you have is writing to the Director of SSA and asking them to waive the reimbursement and make your case to them for why even though you may not qualify now for financial hardship, this deduction for reimbursement would force you into a position of financial hardship and plead your case for him waiving reimbursement.

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