Legal Question in Social Security Law in Virginia

I was on disabilty for several years. Every time I had a life change, I notified them. When I married my first husband, divorced, moved, worked, didn't work, remarried, etc. At the end of the year, 2009, they sent me a letter stating my benefits were cut off because I made too much money, which was my plan, to get back on my feet. Now they are saying I owe an over payment fee that starts from June of 2008. The amount they are claiming is over $5000, which is hard for me to pay, I make good money but not that good. They continued to deposit the check into the account, even when I called and asked them if and when they were going to cut me off. I had to pay taxes on what was paid, would I get that money back if I am made to pay back? Is there a way to "fight" this?

Asked on 3/05/10, 8:56 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Gerald Lutkenhaus Virginia Workers Compensation & Disability Lawyer

Social Security Disability has a maximum income rule. For 2010 it is $1000 per month, for 2009 it is $980.00 per month, and for 2008 it was $940.00 per month. What many claimants do not realize is these are gross figures. So, if you grossed over $940.00 in any month in 2008 that meant you were "not disabled" for that month.

You may be able to file for a "waiver of the over payment." In order to do this you must show (1) you were not at fault in the overpayment and (2) your daily living expenses equal or exceed your income and thus you cannot afford to pay back the overpayment. You also must show you have no savings to pay back the $5,000.00.

This is based on my 35 years of experience as a Virginia Social Security Disability Lawyer. More information can be found at my website at

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Answered on 3/11/10, 6:36 am

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