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SSD & Working
Jun 1, 2001


I have been HIV + for 10 years. In 1992, I was diagnosed with AIDS due to t-cells under 200. I was urged to apply for Social Security & Medicaid. I was approved for SSD. I went back to work in 1996, and continued to receive benefits for 9 months (trial work period). My SSD was then stopped because I was still working. In 1998 I stopped working and went back on full SSD benefits. In 1999, I went back to work a second time. I reported this to SSA, and assumed my benefits would stop like before. They did not. Thinking maybe SSA made an error, I reported my work a second time, filled out the Work Report forms. My benefits continued. A few months later I had a medical review--I reported all earnings--6 weeks later I received a letter saying my benefits would not change. Currently, I am still receiving all benefits while still working. I also have Medicare. Shouldn't my benefits have been stopped? I reported everything like I was supposed to. Now I'm scared that I will owe the government for two years of benefits. I still have AIDS. What should I do?? By the way, I receive 712 per month, minus 45 for Medicare.

Response from Mr. Berg

While I'm not the public/governmental benefits expert, here's my take on your situation. You certainly have been dilagent in reporting everything. Social Security can make big mistakes and seemingly ignore all the documentation submitted. Yes, you could still have an overpayment if they made a mistake, but if you documented everything (and kept a copy of it) to show it was their mistake in not responding at the time, you may have grounds to waive some/all of it. On the other hand, you didn't state how much per month you were making. It's possible that your earned income fell under their Substantial Gainful Activity limits and you were entitled to receive your full monthly SSDI payment in addition to the earned income. You could seek assistance/intervention from your local AIDS Service Organization if you continue to get nowhere with the Social Security office.

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