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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33935
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I am 68 yrs old. My income is currently from Social

Customer Question

I am 68 yrs old. My income is currently from Social Security. I received a letter from them in January stating I would get benefits from my ex-husband's account (married 18 yrs) through 2016 and my SS through 2016. Now they are saying they made a mistake, that I owe $8700 and stopped my checks until its paid back. I sent a check in for the full amount but was told it will take SS 5 months to process it. How am I supposed to live until then?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

You have my sympathies. My wife spent two years fighting with the SSA to try and get her mother's benefits correct and they, at best, ***** ***** deal with.

Unfortunately, the question you asked appear to be rhetorical. Is there a specific question with which I could assist?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
SS stated they made a mistake calculating my work history. They needed to pay me more than they initially said. I started SS 9-1-15 but they are only going back 6 months to 1-1-16. The over payment they said they gave me for benefits from my ex-husband's SS account is from 9-1-15. The repay amount they say I owe back to them (apparently I wasn't supposed to be collecting both from his account and mine) goes all the way back to 9-1-15. Why do I have to pay for their mistake for the full 10 months and they only have to repay me for 6 months. Also, are they allowed to withhold my entire SS check for the 5 months while they catch up on processing their paperwork? I have no other income right now.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, they are "allowed" to withhold your money even though it is their mistake. This kind of thing happens all the time, unfortunately.

There are really no lawyers that will be much help in this although you can certainly hire one if you don't think you can handle the appeal yourself although a SS appeal is really just filling out forms. You can also as that they spread the reimbursement out over a longer period of time. They will usually do this if the request is made but they dont' always do it very promptly.

The best thing to do is fill out the appeals forms. You can ask for them to waive the overpayment, let you pay it back in smaller sums, etc.

The request to waive the overpayment form amd to request a lower payment is at

You can also get a lot of help by contacting your local US Congressman's office and ask for their help. They will usually do you more good than anyone else. DOn't try to talk to the Congressman, just work with their staff.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out so you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of any follow ups.