Michigan Reentry Law Wiki

Sample Letter to Social Security: Mandatory Good Cause

From Reentry

March 16, 2007

Julie Myers-Laurence
Social Security Administration
50 College SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Re: John Doe, SSN **************
Request To Stop Recoupment and Repay Withheld Benefits

Dear Ms. Myers-Laurence.

I am writing on behalf of John Doe to follow up on his request for a hearing with respect to the fact that Mr. Doe’s SSI payments have been reduced in order to recoup an alleged overpayment.

In a letter dated March 14, 2006, Mr. Doe was notified that his benefits would be reduced to $0.00 due the fact that he allegedly had a warrant out for his arrest. In a letter dated March 23, 2006, Mr. Doe was notified that SSA would seek to recoup $1,206.00 which was allegedly overpaid during the months of February 2006 and March 2006. The attached calculation showed Mr. Doe as having received $603.00 per month, when he should have received $0.00. In a letter dated June 2, 2006, Mr. Doe was notified that he had in fact actually been eligible for benefits for the months of February and March 2006, and that his benefit amounts for those months would be changed to $603.00 per month. The letter indicated that for those months Mr. Doe “no longer fits into the category of individual who has an outstanding warrant for a felony crime.”

For reasons that are unclear, the Agency reversed its position in a letter dated June 12, 2006, and once again stated that Mr. Doe was ineligible for benefits for the months of February and March 2006, due to the fact that he had an outstanding arrest warrant. A letter dated August 16, 2006 reaffirmed the Agency’s claim that $1,206.00 had been overpaid, and stated that agency would recoup this amount from Mr. Doe’s ongoing benefit payments.

Mr. Doe was clearly eligible for benefits for the months of February and March 2006. POMS SI 530.015 states:

B. Policy
1. Mandatory Good Cause
The statute mandates that SSA not suspend an individual’s SSI payment, and/or repay a previously withheld payment if:
a. Court of Competent Jurisdiction
A court of competent jurisdiction has:

  • found the individual not guilty of the criminal offense…
  • dismissed the charges relating to the criminal offense…
  • vacated the warrant for the arrest of the individual for the criminal offense…; or
  • issued any similar exonerating order or taken similar exonerating action…

As you can see from the attached register of actions from the 61st District Court, a case was filed against Mr. Doe on February 9, 2006 alleging that he had committed a CSC 1. An arrest warrant was issued on the same day. That warrant was served – and hence lifted – on March 3, 2006. At a hearing on March 17, 2006, the case against Mr. Doe was dismissed on the motion of the prosecutor. Attached please find a copy of the Dismissal Order.

Mr. Doe has asked for a hearing in this matter. However, as this issue is very clear-cut, I hope that we can resolve it without the need for a hearing. Mr. Doe plainly meets the standards for mandatory good cause, and therefore was entitled to benefits for the months of February and March 2006. Please repay any benefits that were withheld for those months. If any other benefits were suspended for any other months, please repay those as well. Finally, please provide me for a payment history from January 1, 2006 to the present so that I can confirm that Mr. Doe’s benefits have been properly paid.

Should you have any questions, I can be reached at 616-774-0672. I appreciate your assistance.

Sincerely,


Miriam Aukerman
Attorney at Law

cc: John Doe
Encl.


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