Portrait of an Adult Mexican woman with down syndrome

Helping Clients Secure Basic Financial Resources

Our client with an intellectual disability came to LSNV in July, 2012 after the Social Security Administration (SSA) terminated her disability insurance because of an alleged overpayment due to earnings from subsidized employment.  All of the way back In 1997 we obtained a favorable Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) decision on this very issue for the same client.  The ALJ had stated that the client’s earnings were not “substantial” enough to disqualify her from benefits, and that she had not been overpaid.  In 2012, the client had the same job, subsidies, and job coach.  Only the dates of employment had changed.  We appealed the SSA’s current decision.  SSA stopped the client’s benefits in August, 2013 and scheduled a hearing in November, 2013, but didn’t tell anyone.  They dismissed the case after no one appeared, and didn’t tell anyone that either.  SSA never informed anyone what happened with the case until contacted by the client’s Congressman in April, 2016.  We persuaded the chief ALJ in Roanoke, where the client had moved, to reopen the case for a hearing.  In March, 2017, the ALJ used the original 1997 decision as a guide ruling that the work was not “substantial” and the client was not overpaid.  Client’s benefits were restored and she was awarded retroactive benefits of $49,969.