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How to dispute SSI debt?

Braddock, PA |

My fiance was receiving SSI, they kicked him off and claimed he was not bi polar. He is and has been hospitalized twice and was given Lithium. he has no medical coverage. it is all out of pocket. They issued a statement saying he owes about 10 grande. they took his tax return last year due to this. What steps should he take to fight this so he can at least not owe them back money? and possibly return to being on SSI? thank you.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. He should see an attorney who practices in this field immediately. It may be too late to do anything about the overpayment as that had to be appealed at the time it was assessed. It may also be possible to have him get back on SSI depending if the hospitalization was after he was removed from SSI. It may even be possible to reopen the termination of his benefits, depending if he meets the requirements under the regulations for reopening that portion of the case.


  2. I agree with my colleague. Generally, one has 60 days to appeal a determination (or 10 days if the person wishes to continue benefits pending the appeal). At this point, it sounds like your fiance failed to timely appeal. However, he can re-apply for SSI. He can also look into seeing if he can get the failure to appeal by the deadline, waived. Generally, this can be possible if there was good cause for the failure to appeal timely. The lawyer he gets for the new SSI case may very well be able to at least look into the potentiality of re-opening that prior case with an appeal that will be accepted as late.

    Stephanie O. Joy, Esq., is an attorney licensed in New Jersey, while currently practicing federal Social Security Disability law. Answers to questions both in NJ and elsewhere are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship, nor do they constitute legal advice. Rather, they is for general informational purposes only.


  3. Generally, if they are taking his tax return, he missed the deadline for the appeal. If he was not "at fault" in the overpayment and he cannot afford to pay it back he can file for a "waiver of the overpayment" but he does have to show (1) he was not at fault for the overpayment and (2) he cannot afford to pay back the $10,000.00.

    This response is meant to be information only and should not be considered to be legal advice. This information is not meant and should not be construed to be the formation of an attorney client relationship. I practice Virginia Workers compensation law and Social Security Disability law.

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