Errors in SSDI Benefits Calculations

According to a recent news story from ABC News, miscalculation of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a major problem that affects more disabled Americans than one might think.   One woman interviewed for the news article failed to get the correct amount of Social Security disability benefits for over 14 years.

duntitled-1237498-mClaimant is a 65-year-old woman who is severely disabled and can barely stand up without assistance. She became disabled following a forklift accident that occurred in 1995. To make matters even more difficult, her husband died from cancer a few years after her accident. Since the death of husband, she was having difficulty paying her bills, buying food, and otherwise making ends meet. She needed help, but did no know what do about it in her condition.  

She suffered from not having enough Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for 14 years after the death of husband, until she finally went to her local United States Social Security Administration (SSA) branch office and tried to find out what happened.   She was able to look at her payment history and confirm she had not received the correct amount of benefits for all of those years.

With assistance, claimant was able to establish she had been shorted $460 per month for around 15 years following her husband’s death. Instead of the $1,640 to which she was rightfully entitled, she was only receiving $1,200 per month in Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. She was paying $1,000 a month in rent, and this meant she had only $200 after making this payment. Her mother had given her jewelry years earlier as an inheritance, but she was forced to sell it to buy food and pay bills.

In total, she was retroactively awarded a lump sum benefits payment of over $56,000 to compensate her for the benefits she should have been paid, and her monthly payments for future benefits were corrected to include the additional $460. However, she anxiously awaited the check for SSA in the mail, or for the money to be deposited in her bank account, and, when it didn’t come, she became concerned once more that she would not have the correct amount of Social Security disability benefits.

She called SSA to find out where her benefits check was, and, when she did not get an answer, she went to the local office once again. She was told her bank must have returned the check to SSA. When she asked her bank, they said they would never do that.   She was finally able to learn that SSA had sent the money to a bank account she had closed years ago, and the funds were eventually deposited in the correct account. She is elated she can buy food and still has money to go to the movies.

As our Boston Social Security disability benefits attorneys can explain, it is very important to make sure SSA is providing you with all of the benefits to which you are entitled each month. While mistakes are bound to happen, and SSA is a huge government bureaucracy, these mistakes happen much more frequently than one would expect. The best thing you can do if you are owed benefits is to contact an experienced attorney to assist you.

If you are seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.

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More Blog Entries:

Hanson v. Colvin: A Critical Look by a Court of Appeals on a Denial of Benefits, August 14, 2014, Boston Disability Lawyers Blog

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