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Homeowners insurance settlement costs woman her SSI benefits

Many people across the country have relied for years on Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits as their primary source of income due to an inability to work because of a physical or mental impairment. Yet many of these people are surprised to learn that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is constantly monitoring their benefit status, and any changes in their finances could result in the termination of those benefits. As such, those in St. Louis receiving those benefits are advised to be aware of any changes to their income from any source so as to avoid a being disqualified by the SSA.

A Tennessee woman is currently fighting to get her benefits reinstated after they were cut off following her receipt of a homeowner’s insurance settlement. After the woman’s house was destroyed by fire, she received $47,000 as part of her homeowner’s insurance coverage. Little did she know that the SSA would count that settlement payment against her annual income. The amount received from the settlement pushed her monthly financial resources above the $2,000 threshold set by federal regulations.

Despite providing documentation to the SSA that showed that her expenses from the fire, which included purchasing a new home, amounted to almost the entire settlement amount, the SSI benefits that she had been receiving ever since being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease over the 15 years ago were terminated. Not only that, she’s been told that she’s also responsible for over $85,000 in overpayments from the SSA, and also that her state disability benefits are also being cut because she no longer qualifies for SSI.

The woman currently has an appeal pending to reinstate her benefits, yet there’s no guarantee that the ruling will be in her favor. Many often find themselves in similar situations of having to fight to retain their SSD/SSI benefits. Those in this predicament may wish to secure the help of Social Security lawyer to assist in proving their case.

Source: WATE-TV “Woman’s SSI checks cut off after house burns down” Don Dare, Nov. 18, 2013

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