Sunday, April 14

‘I Am Just Waiting to Die’: Social Security Clawbacks Drive Some Into Homelessness

More than a year after the federal government initially cut off her special needs advantages, Denise Woods drives nighttime to shopping center, truck stops, and car park around Savannah, Georgia, searching for a safe location to oversleep her Chevy.

Woods, 51, stated she had actually leased a three-bedroom home she showed her adult child and grand son up until March 2022, when the federal government ended her impairment payments without notification.

According to letters sent out by the Social Security Administration, the company identified it had actually been paying too much Woods and required she return almost $58,000.

Woods could not create the cash. Till February 2026, the firm is keeping the $2,048 in impairment she would have gotten each month.

“I still do not understand how it took place,” stated Woods, who has actually asked for a waiver and is looking for a hearing. “No one will provide me responses. It takes weeks or months to get a caseworker on the phone. They have actually made my life excruciating.”

Kilolo Kijakazi, acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration, informed a congressional subcommittee in October that her firm informs receivers when they have actually gotten overpayments and works to “assist those who wish to develop payment strategies or who look for waiver of the financial obligation.”

Relief from overpayments goes to just a reasonably little number of individuals. And numerous others deal with alarming repercussions: Some end up being homeless, are forced out from rental real estate, or see their home mortgages fall under foreclosure.

The SSA has an agonizing tradition of omitting Black individuals from advantages. Today the firm’s own released research study reveals its overpayments usually struck Black and Hispanic individuals, the poorest of the bad, those with the least education, and those whose medical conditions are not likely to enhance.

Woods is among millions who have actually been targeted in the Social Security Administration’s effort to claw back billions of dollars it states was mistakenly sent out to recipients. Years can pass before the company captures an error, and even the bit additional it may send out monthly can accumulate.

In recovering it, the federal government is enforcing financial obligations that can reach 10s of countless dollars versus those least able to pay.

(WHIO, Dayton)

‘Wreaking Havoc in People’s Lives’

KFF Health News and Cox Media Group press reporters spoke with individuals who have actually gotten overpayment notifications and not-for-profit lawyers who promote for them and examined SSA publications, policy documents, and congressional testament.

A 64-year-old Florida male stated he might no longer pay for lease after his Social Security retirement payments were garnished in 2015 since he supposedly had actually been paid too much $35,176 in special needs advantages. He stated he now resides in a camping tent in the woods. A 24-year-old Pennsylvania lady coping with her mom and more youthful brother or sisters in public real estate lost the opportunity to purchase her own home due to the fact that of a supposed $6,063 overpayment that accumulated when she was a kid.

“Social Security overpayments are creating chaos in individuals’s lives,” stated Jen Burdick,

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