This Maryland senior is seething with anger after a government safety net failed her

Many of America’s government programs are designed to provide a safety net to children, the disabled, and senior citizens.

Unfortunately, most of these programs available to citizens are riddled with serious problems.

Now one Maryland senior is seething with anger after one of America’s most trusted safety nets failed her big time.

Social Security Administration slashes senior’s benefits

A Maryland senior named Everlon Moulton is irate after she received a Social Security Overpayment notice in November 2023.

Upon further investigation, she found out that the Social Security Administration (SSA) was trying to take money from her that was supposedly paid out to her brother, Robert A. Samuels Jr. in the early 2000s.

Moulton’s retirement benefits were cut by $233, and it was all because of a decades-old error on her brother’s account, who died in 2006.

Speaking to 2ABC WMAR News, Moulton said, “They caught their mistake and tried to collect the money, but he had passed.”

The retiree found out that she was on the hook for her brother’s overpayment, which was a total of $6,899.

“[It’s] not my fault, I don’t work for Social Security. This is my money [that] I earned. I worked for 37 years in Baltimore City Schools, and this is my money,” she commented.

Before Moulton’s brother passed away in 2006, he received approximately $600 a month in supplemental security income or SSI.

The payments provide critical cash for people with disabilities and older adults with little to no income or other resources.

Almost 20 years after Samuel Jr.’s death, the SSA sent a letter to Moulton to tell her that her brother had “received more than he should have” in monthly SSI payments and that he now owes the agency $6,899.

Because Moulton was acting as her brother’s official payee before he died, the agency says the debt falls onto her.

A letter sent to Moulton from the agency obtained by WMAR News reads, “Congress passed a law that permits us to collect SSI overpayments by withholding from the representative payee’s Social Security benefits. We plan to do so by withholding $233 from your Social Security benefits each month until we collect the $6,899 that you owe.”

Since Moulton relies on her Social Security payments to pay the bills, the $233 monthly deduction is a major issue.

The case is being put on pause

Moulton filled out an SSA form that requested the agency to reconsider its decision.

After making several calls to customer service and attending a hearing about her case, the agency said the collection of the overpayment would be “paused” while it was under review.

“I’ll tell them that when they discover they’ve made a mistake… eat it! Because it’s not fair. This is not ‘your’ money you’re playing with; it’s our money,” she said.

The SSA sends overpayment notices to approximately one million Americans each year, but it has admitted in the past that a lot of those overpayments were the result of government errors and not a result of errors made by the person receiving the money.

Meanwhile, Moulton thinks the agency needs to be held accountable for its actions.

She said, “This is sad because it’s happening to other people, and they need to let you know. Who holds them [the SSA] responsible? Somebody needs to.”

Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story. 

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