A Connecticut woman said she has been trying to pay back her $23,000 debt, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) keeps losing her payments.
“I am very concerned because I am trying to give money back to the government,” said Linda, who doesn’t want to use her last name.
She said she mailed a check in in October of 2015, but it never reached her account with the SSA.
“Two months later, I decided to call up the Social Security company and see where my check was and they told me they had no record of it,” said Linda. “They could not find it.”
While showing NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters a detail folder of receipts and letters to the Social Security Administration, Linda explained that in December 2015, she delivered another $23,000 check to the agency’s Willimantic office in person. The SSA told Linda they lost that check too.
Linda said she owes the SSA because she had started drawing social security when she was old enough to be eligible. However, she later decided to keep working, which means she had to pay the money back. When someone becomes eligible to draw from their social security, but decides to start working again, they have one year to file the change of status and pay back the money taken out of the account.
For a third time, Linda said she went back to the Willimantic office in person with hopes of processing her payment, but several months later that third check hadn't been cashed.
“I still have not heard anything about where my check is,” said Linda.
NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters reached out to officials with the SSA who said they would make sure Linda’s fourth payment was actually processed.
“She told me that they FedExed it overnight to a manger higher up in the Philadelphia office and she was going to handling it exclusively to get this settled,” said Linda. “Within two days that check was cleared through the bank.”
Officials with the SSA said it should normally take up to four weeks to process a person's payment. They wouldn't talk to NBC Connecticut about why it took 14 months to accept Linda’s money.
SSA spokesman, Steve Richardson, did agree to speak by phone about the payment system in general. He said the SSA doesn’t keep records of how many payments they lose but he thinks the numbers are low.
“All indications on our end rather at our end say that there is a very small percentage of checks that may be not negotiated timely and again were are going to want to know about this so we can take action,” Richardson said.
If you are trying to pay money back to the Social Security Administration, but payments are getting lost, they are suggest you contact their local office and ask for a manager.