SSI wouldn't provide interpreter to explain rules and now facing overpayment notice

Lisa Lian

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My daughter, who is deaf, was approved for SSI about 18 months ago. An employee of SSI called us to set up a meeting to set up her payments, talk to us about her back pay etc. I told the guy she would need an interpreter. He said it wasn't necessary. I asked again and he said it was just going to be a short little meeting and she wouldn't need an interpreter.

I don't sign because my daughter has always preferred to talk to me and read my lips. She can't however read everyone's lips. Since I don't sign I couldn't tell her what this guy was saying as he was saying it but had to tell her after he talked when I got a chance.

During this meeting back pay or retroactive pay was discussed. We were told she would receive this in three installments. I understood him to say that my daughter had 18 months after first installment or 9 months after last installment to get her bank accounts below $2000.

She just received her last installment in September. We thought she had until May to be in compliance with their rule. She planned to buy a car with the back pay money. She is in college out of state so she planned to look for a car on Christmas or spring break when she was at home.

In the meantime she got a letter saying she was being "reviewed" by SSI and needed to make an appointment with a certain lady at SSI. When we met with this lady (again with no interpreter) we learned that we had misunderstood what we were told initially about back pay. According to this lady the rule is you have 9 months after "each" installment to get bank accounts below $2000. She asked for authorization to look at my daughters bank accounts up to Jan 1.

On Jan 17 my daughter spent pretty much all of her back pay on a car in order to get her bank account in to compliance.

On Jan 29 the lady from SSI called me and informed me my daughter would be getting an overpayment notice because she had more than $2000 in her accounts during the time periods after 9 months of each of the first two installments of back pay. She said my daughter has to pay back everything SSI has paid her up until now including all monthly payments and all back pay- even the last installment. It has not even been 9 months since last installment of back pay but she says that doesn't matter she has to pay it all back.

I don't believe we were told the correct rules in the first place but even if it was a misunderstanding, it may have been avoided had they provided the interpreter I requested.

I know we can file for reconsideration and/or waiver but this lady has already told me they won't be likely to be approved. I'm wondering how I can use the fact that my daughter was not provided a requested interpreter to fight this notice of overpayment. We can't afford a lawyer.

My daughter hopes to be off SSI in a few years when she finishes college and gets a job. If she has to pay all this back she is going to be saddled with around $30,000 in debt to SSI even when she is off of it.

I don't know what to do. This woman at SSI isn't budging on anything.
I would appreciate any advice.
 

MangaReader

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Absolutely have an interpreter for her. Always. No matter what they say.

I went to my local SS office to report my income and they didn't have an interpreter. Said that she went home sick. We had to write on paper back and forth which was fine with me because then I have everything in writing and I kept all the papers. To me that was better because I had important questions to ask and I got answers in writing.
 
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radioman

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First off -- it really does not pay to work AND get SS. it doesnt matter if it ssdi or ssi. ssi is the worst of all. You got the ssi to help her with her disability and not save a penny of it.
Call the national SSA number, not the local number for ssa office. Explain that the terp service was denied.
The SSA offices depending on which county SSA office you go to will have thier own way of handling communication. For example, sometimes making an appointment before you show up can get you a VRI. Sometimes they will give you an TDD like devices to talk back and forth. Its important that your daughter ask questions and take notes. Ask questions from your notes to make sure its right.This way you can refute what was explained to you.
I find that going to one county has different services then the other. Your best bet? go to an office in a LARGE city. if it in a small town.... which sounds like where you went. There appears to be only ONE SSA office in each county.

Disclaimer- I am not an expert but this is rather my finding in my state by experience. I also learned that you need to have PUBLICATIONS and highlight the rules where it applies to YOU as the workers don't always know thier stuff. For example - two SSA offices say I must have wife work company sign thier form saying I had insurance coverages since part A was started but part B wasnt to avoid penalties. NOT TRUE. Long story short -Got a pub directly from SSA website saying COPIES from insurance company showing my name and date is ALL they needed. SSA can be an ass -- there are rules, but asking the workers to explain it instead of showing the publications highlighting the rules is like pulling teeth with a wet noodle. NOT gonna happen.
 

whatdidyousay!

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If SSI will not provide an interpreter is there centers for deaf and hoh people in your city that you could call and see they could get an interpreter to go with you? SSI Office it not going find you an interpreter , that would be more work for them . You'll have do that own your own, it really would be a waste your time and energy to try and get SSI to get your daughter an interpreter . The next time you go to SSI get the name of person you spoke and tell them you want all the info they gave you and your daughter printed out. This way you also have proof that you when to the meeting .
 

Frisky Feline

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Talk to manager, if not then talk to district manager to have provide your daughter an interpreter. Its a law. I d like to know what is the claims representative's name? i didnt realize that they didnt provide you an interperter. That is wrong.
 

Reba

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I don't know all the ins and outs concerning SSI payments, and your story was confusing to me.

HOWEVER, most importantly, the issue of an interpreter is clear. If your daughter's mode of communication is ASL, then she should have an interpreter at all SSA meetings. Even if you, the parent, were fluent in ASL it would be unethical (perhaps even illegal) for you to interpret at the meetings.

The law requires all federal departments to provide interpreters if requested. I used to work as an interpreter and many of my assignments were with Federal and State agencies, and usually they were the most compliant with ADA. Most of them had efficient systems set up for making the appointments and payments. I don't know why you're getting grief from your SSA office.

I would talk to someone higher up in that SSA office. Something is amiss there.
 

Reba

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If SSI will not provide an interpreter is there centers for deaf and hoh people in your city that you could call and see they could get an interpreter to go with you? SSI Office it not going find you an interpreter , that would be more work for them . You'll have do that own your own, it really would be a waste your time and energy to try and get SSI to get your daughter an interpreter .
That's not a good idea, for several reasons.

One, the SSA is required to pay for interpreter. The deaf client is not supposed to pay. The SSA office can ask if the deaf client has an interpreter preference but the SSA office must make the appointment and billing arrangements. That's the law.

Secondly, it sets a terrible precedence. If any deaf client of that SSA office accepts the refusal of terp services even once, the SSA office sets that as a local policy. That makes it even more difficult in the future for other deaf clients to get interpreter services.

Thirdly, not using a terp can lead to further misunderstandings and more financial problems.

The next time you go to SSI get the name of person you spoke and tell them you want all the info they gave you and your daughter printed out. This way you also have proof that you when to the meeting .
That's a good idea. I would also have the SSA representative sign all documents, too.

The SSA clients also need to reiterate each statement back to the representative, in their own words, to be sure they understand the situation correctly. The client should never just nod "yes, I understand" but should state back his/her own understanding of what was explained. That way, any misunderstandings can be corrected immediately.
 

Reba

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Social Security Administration: Access Policy | National Association of the Deaf

A. POLICY

As mandated by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-112), the Social Security Administration will attempt to ensure maximum accessibility of all SSA programs and proceedings to deaf and hard of hearing persons. This policy provides for the purchase of interpreter service whenever necessary to insure accurate communication.

In no event is a deaf person required to use a sign language interpreter with whom he/she cannot communicate. If the individual or SSA determines that accurate communication is not occurring, the interviewer will terminate the interview until a qualified interpreter (see B.3 below) is located and protect the filing date, if applicable.

The deaf/hard-of-hearing person may provide his or her own sign language interpreter at no cost to SSA. However, the utilization of the services of certified interpreters is the preferred option when available. District and/or branch manager and administrative law judges may authorize payment for sign language interpreter services and related expense whenever necessary. Such payments may be made upon prior approval. This authorization is within the local purchase authority.

B. DEFINITIONS

1. Sign language interpreter. A sign language interpreter is any person who is capable of sending signs and interpreting for a deaf/hard-of-hearing person, and understanding signs and interpreting from a deaf/hard-of-hearing person, with accuracy.

2. Certified sign language interpreter. A certified sign language interpreter is any person who has been certified by the national Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or by any State Registry of Interpreter for the Deaf, or named on a list of interpreters compiled by the National Association of the Deaf and/or any State Association of the Deaf.

3. Qualified sign language interpreter. For SSA purposes, a qualified sign language interpreter is any person certified as defined above, or any person who is acceptable both to the deaf/hard-of-hearing individual and the SSA approving official.

Social Security Administrative Program Operating Manual System [POMS] GN 00203.012.

Each Social Security Office should have effective procedures for complying with these requirements, determining the method of communication the deaf person prefers, and procuring interpreter services.

To request an interpreter at a local Social Security office, contact that office directly. Deaf callers may also call 1-800-325-0778 (TTY) and ask for an appointment with an interpreter at a specific local office. The national operator will arrange the appointment through the local office. If a local office refuses to provide an interpreter when requested, the Social Security Administration Office for Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity will accept and investigate complaints against non-complying offices.

To file an official complaint of discrimination against a Social Security office that refuses to provide an interpreter, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-866-574-0374 V, or at the following address:

Social Security Administration
Office of the General Counsel
General Law Division
Room 617, Altmeyer Bldg
6410 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21235

Ask the SSA to send Form SSA-437 (Civil Rights Discrimination Complaint Form).
 

whatdidyousay!

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That's not a good idea, for several reasons.

One, the SSA is required to pay for interpreter. The deaf client is not supposed to pay. The SSA office can ask if the deaf client has an interpreter preference but the SSA office must make the appointment and billing arrangements. That's the law.

Secondly, it sets a terrible precedence. If any deaf client of that SSA office accepts the refusal of terp services even once, the SSA office sets that as a local policy. That makes it even more difficult in the future for other deaf clients to get interpreter services.

Thirdly, not using a terp can lead to further misunderstandings and more financial problems.


That's a good idea. I would also have the SSA representative sign all documents, too.

The SSA clients also need to reiterate each statement back to the representative, in their own words, to be sure they understand the situation correctly. The client should never just nod "yes, I understand" but should state back his/her own understanding of what was explained. That way, any misunderstandings can be corrected immediately.


If you use a center of deaf and hoh it does not cost you anything , the center is funded by the state so the state is paying for the interpreter.
I had used a center for deaf and hoh and I did not have to pay any money.
It's something easier to go over people heads , why waste time fighting with the SSI office if you can get an
interpreter faster from a center. My niece use the Center for Independent
living and she had someone help her learn how to travel on a public bus etc and it did not cost any money. If you want to go fight with the SSI office go ahead . It's going to take along time to get the SS office to provide an interpreter for you. I know it the law for SS Office to get you an interpreter
but people do not always follow the law . I happen to like to do thing myself
and not wait for someone else to do it , I go over people heads if they drag their feet.
 

Reba

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If you use a center of deaf and hoh it does not cost you anything , the center is funded by the state so the state is paying for the interpreter.
I had used a center for deaf and hoh and I did not have to pay any money.
It's something easier to go over people heads , why waste time fighting with the SSI office if you can get an
interpreter faster from a center. My niece use the Center for Independent
living and she had someone help her learn how to travel on a public bus etc and it did not cost any money. If you want to go fight with the SSI office go ahead . It's going to take along time to get the SS office to provide an interpreter for you. I know it the law for SS Office to get you an interpreter
but people do not always follow the law . I happen to like to do thing myself
and not wait for someone else to do it , I go over people heads if they drag their feet.
Sometimes the interpreters from these centers aren't available to everyone when needed. State funding for many services is very limited. Also, in SC (I don't know about other states), the business (such as the SSA) are still billed by the State for the interpreting services, so it's not free to them. Either way, the SSA office will get a bill for interpreting services, whether it's from a private interpreter or a state center interpreter.
 

mikemike

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Remembered the SSA is a federal agency, thus it is under Section 504 of the Rehab Act of 1973.
All businesses and state agencies and education are under the ADA.

And overpayment. Well SSA is strict, they have rules and regulations.

Now the new rule is you cannot earn over 700 dollars per month when you get SSDI. Dunno about SSI. The old rules were 900 dollars.
 

MangaReader

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Now the new rule is you cannot earn over 700 dollars per month when you get SSDI. Dunno about SSI. The old rules were 900 dollars.

That is not correct. In 2014, this monthly amount $770 for TWP.

Generally, you can't start doing "substantial gainful activity" (SGA) and continue to receive disability benefits. In a nutshell, SGA means you are working and making more than $1,070 per month (or $1,800 if you're blind). There are exceptions to this rule, however. For SSDI recipients, there is a trial work period during which you can make more than the SGA amount without losing your benefits.

SSDI recipients are entitled to test their ability to work and continue to receive full benefits regardless of whether they make more than the SGA amount, for a nine-month trial work period. For 2014, the SSA considers any month where a person has a monthly income of more than $770 a trial work month. If you are self-employed, any month where you work more than 80 hours (or earn more than $770) is a trial work month.

Once you have completed the nine-month trial work period, you can still receive SSDI for any month where your earnings fall below the SGA level, for a period of 36 months. This is called the extended period of eligibility. In other words, if you earn more than $1,070 per month, you won't get disability benefits for that month.
 

zerodog

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below $2000.

I understand the confusing about the 2,000 dollars resource such as bank as you assume because they told you. Well, they did not explain you the whole context how that affect your daughter SSI benefit.

If daughter have car that value more than 2,000 dollar that is resource because no way that SSI can afford the car payment. They will assume that she is able to pay resource herself enough without the SSI benefit. Its their police the resource anything value more than 2,000 under her name. The loop hole is if you put your name on the daughter car, none of this happen like this. Due they will ask you the question but they are not going to question who car and who is driving, all you response to say me... me... me.. same idea with auto insurance is asking us a question how often the percentage use??

I want clarify the confusing about the job part, if she work part time, she MUST and MUST no matter what how small...she need to report the SSA if she have part time job other wise there are policy fee for each dollar for more than specific amount. Each year have different amount of fee.

If your daughter's friend or someone told you the different and confusing about the SSDI and SSI, let me tell you the SSI and SSDI have the different rules. SSDI who had a job more than 5 years and thing unexpected such as lay off and become hard to find job because condition... depend on state where you live during the high rate unemployment moment. SSDI to keep eligible base on SGA.

What can you do to fight back? Actually nothing you can do about it.. have to pay entire money back. Number one, she is young and not understand what resource really mean because resource does not define the specific. You can argue that part at the begin... If she refuse provide the interpreter. Remember, it has nothing to with ADA.. its has to do with ADAA of 2008.

Even people or this forum will automatic say, "THEY HAVE NO RIGHT!" cuz most the time they do not understand what resource can apply about 2,000 or below.. mean you want her name on car title, mean need find value 2,000 or under as not dependable car. Even the MAC computer that tend cost more than 2,000 is same thing.

I understand you want to help her and want her to focus college than the job. You are just help but not what the same SSA see the same.

Experience with help people who on SSDI and SSI, but who have SSI is not worth to keep one cuz they are screw up and 600 dollar or whatever that does not delivery the experience with responsible.
 

misdirectionx

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I refuse to get SSI. You have to report almost everything to SSA - blame Republicans who want to shutdown Social Security and Medicaid for good! Including the Tea-tards Party as well!
 
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