New Hampshire Legal Assistance

Helping to balance the scales of justice for everyone since 1971.

Judge waives disability benefit overpayment

NHLA successfully represented a women, deaf since birth, by convincing an Administrative Law Judge to forgive an overpayment of benefits totaling $116,000.

When she finished high school, the woman's benefits were changed from child Supplement Security Income (SSI) disability benefits to adult disabled children’s benefits. As a young adult she became employed and was overpaid by SSA. However, her father dealt with SSA matters for her over the years, since she only communicates by American Sign Language due to her disabilities. Because she did not understand the basis for her benefits, she did not know she was supposed to tell SSA about her earnings until after the agency notified her that she had been overpaid $116,000 in benefits. Facing this formidable battle, she contacted NHLA for help.

Disability Benefits Project Leader paralegal Vickie Brooks' legal arguments and evidence persuaded the judge to waive the overpayment since our client had not caused it.