Work together for an end to correctable errors in the Social Security Administration
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I have been told that I am now part of the one percent. I'm not talking about owning multiple casinos or taking entire months off to play golf. I'm talking about the fact that less than one percent of people who start disability benefits for a psychological impairment EVER become self-sufficient again. I am living proof that this is not because of disabled people being lazy or incapable of work.
A major factor in why such a small percentage of Social Security Beneficiaries ever become self-sufficient is because the SSA, albeit unknowingly, facilitates and enforces poverty because of easily correctable systemic errors inherent to the SSA.
The most common means of unintentionally keeping the disabled in poverty is through erroneous overpayments. I personally experienced this.
Social Security has a wage reporting app but out of twelve months I reported my income, the app was down for approximately four of them.
For 3 out of the 4 months that the app was not operational and I was forced to call, representatives at call centers around the country stated: "You're all set." A few days later I would receive a bill for my overpayment as if I had never called. I consulted a benefit expert on this matter and he said that they were wrong in assuring me I was "all set." That SSA policy requires that if you do not use the wage reporting app, you must bring in a copy of your official pay stub to the local social security office. This entails waiting at least half an hour at the security checkpoint at the door and then at least one hour in the waiting room to hand a piece of paper to the representative and leave. At the time I was proud of the fact that I was no longer on benefits and realized I could not spend a minimum of two hours waiting to hand them my pay stubs.
I am creating this petition at this address which I am asking you to sign in the goodness of your hearts and with the goal of decreasing human suffering.
As I am not an individual who enjoys presenting a problem without a solution, I am presenting three achievable solutions for this one massive human rights issue.
1) SSA needs to build a wage reporting app which functions 24/7.
2) SSA needs to not inform people that they are "all set" when they in fact need to bring in pay stubs.
3) SSA needs to provide reference numbers for all of their recorded phone calls so that they may be held accountable for the problem stated in #2. (Currently they are unable to give a reference number for any phone call.)
I have watched thousands of brilliant and hardworking human beings live in enforced poverty because of simple and correctable errors in the SSA. I am not asking for a massive increase of funding or major reform. The three suggestions above will decrease the number of Americans with a disability who are now unnecessarily paying thousands of dollars in overpayments and will facilitate and empower Americans to achieve financial independence thereby decreasing the burden on the average taxpayer.
This is a matter of human rights and must be addressed.
When this petition has a thousand signatures I will forward it to Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Luke Bradford Knowles
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