Matt Sievert msievert at sbcglobal.net
Sun Feb 15 17:39:54 UTC 2009

Yes, I do feel strongly about this.

I got out from under SSI by the generosity of an employer who paid me enough to kick SSI to the curb and never look back.

They didn't have to take the extra financial responsibility, but they did, and to this day I am grateful.

I owe all my employers a debt of gratitude for the support they have provided me as become a benficial part of our society.

Without people like
Ozarks Public Television
John Reynolds and Bass Pro Shops
Tracker Marine
St. John's Health System

I would be in a very different situation.

Sometimes it costs more to take care of some employees, but the benefits to society as a whole are enormous.
I paid tens of thousands of dollars in taxes last year that if not for gainful employment. I would be waiting to receive the small stipends that the government deems "adequate"  

Everyone deserves a chance to seek gainful employment and become a beneficial part of society. 

Hopefully in the future I can return the favor, and help out my fellow blind and disabled friends.

-----Original Message-----
From: "Eugene Coulter" <escoulter at centurytel.net>

Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 08:12:34 
To: NFB of Missouri Mailing List<nfbmo at nfbnet.org>
Subject: [Nfbmo] WARNING URGENT S.S.A.

{Gary please distribute}
Hi everyone,
It appears the the Social Security  Administration is looking closer at some of our cases. Within the last 3 weeks 2 members of the Columbia Chapter have received not so nice letters from them. What is worse it appears there is no time limit for how far back they will look.

In the first case a member  has been suddenly told that  do to his work he is no longer disable since January of 1999 and allegedly owes in excess of $100,000.00 in overpayments.
In the second case SSA is demanding proof of income since 1988 in a letter received just yesterday by my wife. This is evidently a preliminary letter of inquiry but it scares you when you receive such a thing.
Between the case S.S.A. could be wanting as much as a quarter of a million dollars. Before you receive your very own letter here are some tips.
First, IRS only requires  people to keep tax records for 7 years but it appears that disabled folks on SSDI need to keep their records for life. And, if married until both spouses die.

Second there are certain records that you should keep in addition to wages and taxes. If you don't have these now get them together.
1. If  self employed, especially as vendor your unencumbered expenses.
2. If self employed uncompensated  wages meaning time family, friends, and volunteers worked for you but were not paid. Such as substitutes for daycare, bookkeeping for vendors, etc.
3. Subsidized employment If your employer or rehab agency pays for someone to help you do your job their income can be considered a subsidy for you to be able to do your job and their wages count as a SSDI deduction. Examples are readers and drivers paid for by your job. You must  have proof of their hourly rate and how many hours worked.
4. The most common is Impairment Work Related Expenses (IRWE). Typically you can use the cost of transportation to and from work, care and feeding of guide dogs, white canes and technology items. Keep in mind the expenses must be paid by you and not reimbursed by a rehab agency or employer. In the case of technology the item must be for work and you may be asked to justify it since employer or RSB didn't deem it required enough for them to get the item for you.

Lastly I am providing the income limits for the last nine years soyou can look and see if you might have any problems in these regards before getting a letter from SSA yourself. Let's hope you don't!
2001 $1240.00 a month
2002 $1300.00 a month
2003 $1330.00 a month
2004 $1350.00 a month
2005 $1380.00 a month
2006 $1450.00 a month
2007 $1500 a month
2008 $1570 a month
2009 $1640.00  a month

Hopes this saves someone some trauma in the future.
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