Stopping The Reductions to Your Social Security Benefits
Sometimes, the Social Security Administration (SSA) makes some egregious errors. A lot of those errors are errors in calculations, or misinformation that causes the SSA to penalize recipients of benefits. If and when you receive a letter from SSA stating that you are being penalized and that some or all of your benefits are being taken to repay what you supposedly owe back to the government, you need to consult with social security lawyers right away. A social security disability lawyer can help sort out where the SSA thinks you owe them some money. Here is how that works.
Bring the Letter and Proof of Household Income to the Lawyer
If any other adults or teens in the house are working, that is income that the SSA counts when it calculates your disability payments. Not reporting that income results in punitive measures, even when the income is not from any job you have worked (or not worked, as the case may be). When you first meet with the lawyer, bring the letter the SSA sent you regarding reduction in benefits (or the complete reneging of payments) and any household pay stubs — even if the pay stubs are from your teenager's job at a fast food joint.
Your Lawyer Will Contact SSA on Your Behalf
Next, your lawyer will contact the SSA on your behalf. You must be present to hear what is said and to provide personal identifying information so that the SSA knows it is you. You will spend at least a half hour on the phone trying to sort out why the SSA thinks you owe them money.
If there is evidence that the SSA screwed up, then your lawyer can get SSA to pay back what they have already taken away from you. If the SSA thinks it can take benefits based on what your teen makes at a job making burgers or delivering pizzas, then your lawyer can file a lawsuit arguing that your teen's income is not for household use and that you are still entitled to full disability benefits each month. This is known as a reconsideration of a decision. It forces the SSA to attend an actual hearing and reconsider the agency's decision.
The Reconsideration Hearing, Repeated
A reconsideration hearing might go your way the first time around. It may not. If the SSA is still adamant that you need to repay them, you can file an appeal for the decision made at the reconsideration hearing.