"My question is:

I have a live in boyfriend who has been approved for SSD, he has severe back problems.

On his application he didn't state we are in a relationship just roommates, I'm giving him the benefit of my doubts but he stated they told him they need my financial info. and household income can not exceed $2000.00, or he can add me and my kids to his info to get more money. And if they accept my income which is child support, only his awarded income will drop. Before I assume he's pulling a fast one on me i would like assistance. Also they will be sending an investigator out to check the house?"

I am not sure how to proceed with this answer. If your boyfriend is receiving Social Security disability, it does not matter what your income or resources are. Social Security disability is based upon your boyfriend's work activity prior to becoming disabled. There may be money for your kids, if they are your boyfriend's children. If they are not, they could not be considered for a benefit unless you were married and they were your boyfriend's step children.

If you are not married to your boyfriend, there is no money payable to you. If your boyfriend is receiving SSI for a period of time, or for the life of the disability claim, Social Security may want financial information about you especially if they consider you and your boyfriend to be in a "holding out" relationship.

Holding out is a term used to describe an unmarried couple who are living as husband and wife in their community even though they are not formally married.

It may well be that they are considering an income limit as if you were a spouse. I am not sure where the child support comes into all of this. SSI disability is need based, so Social Security will evaluate income, resources, and the living arrangement of anyone who is approved for disability.

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If you want to know how many (and I do mean many) doctors stand on the issue of applications for disability benefits, read this article. He certainly has some valid points: many individuals who are disabled have a very difficult time getting approved for benefits and are forced to go the full distance (initial claim, reconsideration appeal, disability hearing).

Also, he is completely accurate when he states that people have a much higher chance of approval when they are represented at the hearing level (for many many reasons, it is a bad idea to appear before an ALJ unrepresented).

Here is where he goes wrong: Claimants and their attorneys do not find "ways to influence physicians' reports and "game" the system". That is a ludicrous statement. I would say that disability representatives often have trouble getting a claimant's doctor to be bothered to simply take the 10 minutes necessary to fill out a medical source statement for their "patient". And some will attempt to charge for this enormous use of their precious time.

Not surprisingly, this physician seems to have little insight into two factors that play heavily in the disability system: the issue of pain and vocational considerations.

Pain is difficult to measure, but it does exist and it does become disabling. Just because you can't assess it on an MRI scan or through bloodwork doesn't mean it isn't there day and night.

With regard to vocational considerations, the SSA disability system is set up to give fair consideration to individuals who have lost the ability to go back to their former jobs, but also cannot be expected to suddenly switch to some type of other work they have never done, given consideration of their age, education, limitations, and the level of their jobs skills and transferrability of said skills.

In short, this doctor, despite quacking statistics, knows very little about how the disability system works. He may (or may not) also have little empathy toward individuals with chronic pain situations (we will give him the benefit of the doubt even if he does not reciprocate for disability applicants).

My point in citing this article: consider your own doctor when pursuing a claim for benefits. You may wish to mention to your doctor that you are filing a claim to "feel him or her out". You may also want to mention your limitations when you see your doc to, hopefully, get them recorded in the doctor's records (no guarantee of this, of course).

And, you may wish to view the records this doctor has compiled on you. It may give you an inkling of how useful the physician's records will be for your claim. Of course, if you obtain your records, you can always have a disability representative review them with you.

Sometimes doctors are hostile to disability claims

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"Hello, I just got an overpayment notice in the mail. The over payments were not my fault. I have already done the paperwork to waive the overpayment reimbursement. The story goes like this. I applied for SSD in 2004. I got an attorney to handle my case. I gave the initial paperwork to the SSA in the N.J. Sommerville Office with my workmans' comp info the attorney did his part with the paperwork also. I claimed my son as a dependent child and me as his representative payee.

After about three years, I won my case and got my retroactive award & monthly SSD benefits. On June 2012 I realized my son was not getting his SDD. I inquired at the Pennsylvania SSA office about my sons benefits. The SSA rep told me that the paperwork was not processed and/or lost in the system for 8 years. I then reapplied or continued the claim for my son as his Rep payee and I again handed in my workmans' comp info and after two months I got his retroactive done and the claim was approved.

However, I also got a letter about over payments since 2005 or 2004 due to SSA negligence in handling my sons rep payee claim. So now I am appealing the decision and requesting a waver of the 75K overpayment. Now my SSD is down from 2050 to 712 a month causing me sever financial hardship. I was lead to believe that all was ok until this overpayment stuff happened.

Question is, can I sue the SSA for negligence for causing me catastrophic financial hardship because of their negligence in losing my initial rep payee claim for 8 years despite me giving the SSA all my workmans' comp papers in 2004. Now collections, foreclosure, bankruptcy and liens are imminent because of me losing 1,338.00 dollars in SSD benefits"

This is a difficult question. It appears that your Social Security monthly benefits are now being offset because of workman's compensation benefits that are being received, or benefits previously received either as weekly benefits or weekly benefits then a settlement.

If your lawyer did the right thing, they would have included a clincher statement that prorated any kind of settlement over your lifetime so that there would be minimal ongoing affect on your monthly Social Security benefits.

If you are still receiving WC benefits it is proper that your monthly Social Security disability benefits are reduced or offset.

As to your child's benefits not sure what happen there. Also children's benefits are offset for WC as well. Generally, dependent benefits are reduced an worker's benefit is increased with the entitlement of a child when WC is involved.

Hopefully, you can get your overpayment waived, however you may have to pursue it all the way to an administrative law judge hearing. The problem here is that you have to be able to prove that you provided the information to Social Security and that is often difficult even if you did so. Workman's Compensation entitlement causes many overpayments. I would just say if they deny you waiver appeal that decision to a judge if necessary and bring whatever proof you can to the hearing if need be.

Lastly, it is not easy to sue Social Security for any of this kind of thing. The burden of proof, unfortunately, is on your shoulders not Social Security.

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