Social Security benefits were meant to be a safety net for people who have reached retirement age, survived a loved one, or encountered debilitating illnesses. The average American receives between $700 and $3345 monthly depending on their lifetime contributions and other factors.
Tampa resident Mamie Walker, who is 87 years old and lives alone had her benefits ripped away for the second time after the Social Security Administration sent her a letter stating she owed more than $237,000 in overpayments.
Due to this the elderly woman hasn't received a benefit payment in nearly three months and she is terrified that she won't be able to cover her living expenses, as the late fees keep piling up. She said that her adult children don't have the means to help support her.
“You know I ain’t got that kind of money, baby.” “My kids don’t have nothing to try to help me, so I’m just down in a hole,” -Mrs. Walker
The letter that was sent to her showed that she would have her entire check withheld each month until the overpayment is recovered in September 2034. That means she will have gone without Social Security income for thirteen years and have reached her 100th birthday.
Two years ago, Mrs. Walker encountered another situation, where her benefits had been canceled after she was told she'd owed more than $200,000 in student loan payments, even though she never pursued a college degree.
For now, a representative from the agency has told local reporters that they would investigate the matter in order to assist her in getting her benefits restored. However, an outcome has yet to be reached.
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