Help!! Question about Medicare, etcs.

ashliJune 7, 2009

My husband was on SSDI for about six years...They encourage? you to go back to work...His work is mostly a sit-down job, answering the phone... Last Fall, the Social Security office called and said that he was making too much money...He told his boss and he said that he would try to find someone to work one of his half days in his place....guess noone wanted to work for just a few hours...Last Fall,I was encouraged by someone at our local Social Security office to apply for wife benefits...

I received a March and April check...thinking that since living expenses went up in 2009...that everything was fine, and my husband's payroll checks of $229.00 a week was ok.

Then, our world fell apart...Last month, May, we got a letter from Social Security stating that our checks were stopped. Permanently. And worse than that...They are saying we owe them and need to refund...almost $32,0000 to them!!

Saturday, we got a bill for $385.00 from Medicare...It's out-of- pocket-pay now...Do you know of any way to turn for help to pay this?

My husband pays almost $400.00 a month insurance premium to where he used to work for almost 35 years...It is suppose to pay 80% for medical expenses...and Medicare would pay the rest of the bill (usually) I am also listed on his insurance record...I could take my name off his insurance and make the payment much less than the $400.00 a month...leaving me without any insurance.

Is this suggested? Probably no choice.

And adding much more misery...He went to apply for Retirement Benefits... For some reason, they have him listed as being born in 1943!...and he was born in 1942...asked how that could happen...SS just said, "We make typos too."

And adding triple misery...My husband's name is not listed on his birth certificate!!

We are trying to get enough information about his real date of birth...He wasn't in the military, he never voted, and his school records were destroyed when the school he attended (first grade)...burned.

After we accumulate any records to (hopefully) prove his real age...we will take them to Vital Records Unit in Atlanta...Anyone know how long a wait for that we may be facing?

Warning: Don't wait until your elderly to check your birth certificate!

My husband is a diabetic and has to see a doctor because of nerve damage in his feet and the Medicare Insurance paid for that...

Is there any help out there...where do we turn? what's the first step in helping him keep his medicare Insurance?

It seems very likely that one of his insurances will have to be stopped

I sure don't want to ask for food stamps or any help like that.

It's like one step forward, then two steps back...and the important thing is to keep stepping...

But I'm very discouraged and don't really know what to do.

Any advice is much appreciated. (good or not so good)


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I am so sorry you are going through such an awful time! I think you really need to talk to an attorney who specializes in SS issues (they do exist). But don't just go to the yellow pages. You need to get a referral. If you've used a good attorney for something else, call them and ask for a referral. Ask your friends and relatives for the name of a good attorney (any speciality) then call that attorney and ask for a referral to one who specializes in SS.
Records: Do you have a family Bible? Baptismal records? How about junior high school and high school? When your husband applied for SSDI, what documentation did they ask for for his age? Does he have a passport? What name IS listed on his birth certificate? Is it similar to his? Any idea why it's different? At his age, he would have been required to register for the Selective Service at the age of 18. Call the draft board and ask them how to go about obtaining a copy of his draft record.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 8:43PM
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Call your Congressman's office. They have staff members whose job is specifically to help people navigate the system.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 9:46PM
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What if you can't afford an attorney?
I did call a lawyer's office that advertised: "Call us if you need Social Security Disability Help."
I asked my question,about money SSDI says are due them...and she laughed, and said, "Even I couldn't pay that back." and informed me that was one problem they couldn't help us with.
I have been told that there really is no free-legal help...that you would eventually have to pay the lawyer.
No passports. No family Bible information, and he quit school in the tenth grade.
There is no child named on his birth certificate...It has all other of birth, 1942,son, and his parents names, everything, except his name.
When he was at the Sheperd Spinal Center in Atlanta, in 2002...they asked for his birth certificate...I thought that would be easy...I mentioned to Social Security that the Sheperd Center had accepted it as his date of birth, and they said,"Probably because of the circumstances."
Maybe I should contact the Center also. It was at the Sheperd Hospital (Where he stayed for four and a half months)...where they helped me fill out his disabilty forms.
Yes, I should of checked on getting his birth certificate amendedBut between 2002 and recently, I didn't know that there was going to be such a problem(s) with it.
Thank You for responding.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 10:06PM
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My son had an issue with SSDI (my disabled granddaughter was on it). There was one year that was in question and he was told that they'd overpaid him and he owed $12,000!!!
He finally did get it sorted out, but it was a huge hassle.

I would still get an attorney - sometimes you have to contact more than one to get a good one....

I have been told that there really is no free-legal help...that you would eventually have to pay the lawyer
There are attorneys who do work pro-bono (no fee) and there are attorneys who charge on a sliding scale. But you need to be persistent to find them. Have you called the legal aid society for your area?

If you can't afford an attorney, how are you going to afford $32,000?

What about contacting the draft board? He would have had to register for the Selective Service when he turned 18.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 10:38PM
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ashli, Please contact your congressman.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 10:42AM
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Lido, I'm going to do that tomorrow (Tuesday)...
I hesitate to do things because I don't like talking on the phone...especially about our situation... I guess I'm not brave enough...hard to ask for any kind of help when we've never had to before...I've never worked outside the home...(should have)...I volunteered and worked at the soup kitchen for 14 years. Never thinking about the future...Taking for granted my husband's good health...Then he had a cervical disk operation and almost died from septic shock...He had so many problems...Doctor's wanted me to take him off life support...but I said, no way...and he has never really fully recovered from all the complications.
Anyway, I'll let you know what the congressman's office says...Thanks very much for mentioning that.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 11:12PM
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You could view your calling as them finally having a chance to "earn" for you all the tax dollars you've paid through the years:)

I hope all goes smoothly.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 6:19AM
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I called the local office and was told that the congressman that WAS in our small town, is an attorney now...though it still has him on the Internet as the congressman for our county...Shows you how little I keep up with politics.
The lady gave me a number to call our "new" congressman...Phil Gringey. Who's office is not located in our town.
I spoke with a man briefly, mentioning the social security letter and medicare...He said that he would have to send us a form to fill out, to get our permission for them to "look into it."
Social Security called yesterday and told us the "Reconsider" was turned down. That we could file an appeal to Waiver it...I said, Ok., and they'll send a paper to file out.
Seems that you have 2 options after SS claims they overpaid you...One is that you want them to Reconsider the situation because you don't believe that you are at fault in any way...the other is a Waiver...that asks them to
waive it because you're not financially able to pay it back.
Doubt that is in our favor either...because I told the SS lady yesterday that I don't see how we can live on $229.00 a week...and she said, "Sure you can." I asked, How?...and she said, "Just sit down and go over what you owe, and you'll see that you can eliminate a few of them."
She didn't say what "them" were.
Eliminate what? water? phone? electricity? gas? insurance? food?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 12:04PM
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When you talk to SS or anyone else, document it in a book. Name, date, time, title phone # extension. Dealing with SS is a nightmare as most people will interrupt the law different. People seem to be brisk/rude now because of the cutbacks and outsourcing of the jobs. Are the people here in the US or in another country? You really need some good legal advice It appears you may have been overpaid, because there are limits what you can make and collect SS. Are you and your husband over 65? This makes a difference. I am surprised someone from SS would call and encourage you to collect benefits you may or may not be entitled to. You mentioned a certain amount, sorry to say, many are living on less and getting by.
As to the Birth Cert? Where was it recorded? Were there witnesses to his birth? Relatives? Friends? Neighbors?
I have my Dad's birth cert. with letters signed by relatives about the life birth. Medicare is the prime insurance and your supplement insurance pays what MC does not. You cannot take your name off his insurance, he has to do that.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:59PM
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My disabled son had problems with SSDI. He got excellent free help from our local state collage. They had a bunch of pre-law students who work under a lawyer. They researched his problems and even went to court to help with the Administrative Law judge. My son won. Call your local 4-year collage to see if they have a volunteer group to help with law issues(renters rights and such).

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 7:32PM
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Anybody who gets an overpayment on Social Security has the right to appeal.There are two kinds of appeals-Reconsideration, where you think the facts are wrong. And then there's Waiver, where you agree you got too much money but it wasn't your fault and repayment will cause you financial hardship. Call your local SS office or 1 800 772 1213 and ask for a "waiver" form. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 9:02PM
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