Joyce Jeter has lived her life with neurofibromatosis, a debilitating and incurable medical condition that causes tumors to grow on her body. Not only does the condition cause her to experience constant pain, it also lead to the amputation of one of her legs after doctors discovered one of her many tumors was cancerous. In order to make ends meet, Joyce relies on Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Now, her monthly benefits checks might be going away in an unexpected twist of fate after she received a generous gift from her community.
Joyce, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri, has always been a Kansas City Royals fan but never had the money or opportunity to visit the local stadium to see a baseball game in-person. After expressing her desire to finally attend a game, other Royals fanatics created a GoFundMe page to raise the money required for her to go. The page was a success, brought in nearly $4,000, and ultimately allowed Joyce to go to the stadium.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) became aware of the charitable fund and soon sent letters to Joyce that stated her benefits would be reduced or denied. The SSA must be informed of all charitable campaigns that directly fund SSD beneficiaries, such as GoFundMe pages. After being informed, the SSA will either approve of the amount or, in the more likely scenario, will inform the beneficiary that an equal amount will be removed from their SSD income until the difference is paid off.
Although Ms. Jeter has not stated that she will seek legal intervention to protect her SSD benefits, it might be the only way for her to keep them or prevent deduction. She has expressed concern that she will not be able to feed herself in the meantime.
The ongoing story serves as a reminder to other SSD beneficiaries to always do their best to follow SSA rules and regulations, but also to pursue legal options after running into an issue. If you are facing complications with the SSA and your own benefits, Disability Action Advocates can help. Call toll-free (888) 421-8705 today to speak with our Las Vegas Social Security Disability representative and discuss your rights.