CHICAGO (CBS) – A authorities mistake nearly ruined a lady financially. 2 Investigator Pam Zekman studies that when she wanted it probably the most, Social Safety didn’t reside as much as its guarantees.
“Unexpectedly i began getting a invoice for $6,200 saying I owe them cash all the cash again that they’d ever given me,” mentioned Linda Eckel.
That invoice mentioned Linda Eckel was erroneously paid a widow’s profit from social safety and that her $1,641 month-to-month verify would cease.
Eckel mentioned she couldn’t imagine it when she opened the letter and browse that she owed greater than $6,000.
“I began crying, I actually did, I couldn’t imagine it.”
Eckel’s husband Lawrence unexpectedly died in 2016 and he or she badly wanted the cash from social safety.
“We acquired behind on payments and sadly he hid that from me and the payments had been simply piling up,” Eckel mentioned.
However Social Safety says there was a mistake on Eckel’s earnings assertion for 2016 — a mistake she tried to resolve on her personal.
Over the previous yr and a half Eckel tried to get her case resolved by visiting quite a few social safety places of work, together with the one in Elgin.
She says she was repeatedly informed,” We’ll get again to you , nobody ever will get again to you.”
That’s when Eckel known as the two investigators.
“They requested me, did you contact channel 2, i mentioned sure i did.”
And some days later.
“I regarded in my checking account and there was an quantity deposited for $3,700 from Social Safety, I used to be shocked,”
It seems Eckel didn’t owe any cash, in truth Social Safety owed her $3,700 and her month-to-month cost of $1,679.50 will resume in July.
“It’s completely loopy that it’s important to await weeks, months or years to get easy issues resolved,” mentioned Laurence Kotlikoff, Professor of Economics at Boston College.
Kotlikoff says errors like this and others the two Investigators have uncovered shouldn’t be tolerated.
“If the commissioner of Social Safety can’t immediately become involved right here and deal with the systematic issues with serving to individuals get what their owed then that particular person needs to be fired,” mentioned Kotlikoff.
Eckel mentioned the repeated errors made her offended.
“It’s a scary factor,” Eckel mentioned. “I imply with out you guys I might have ended up dwelling who is aware of the place?”
A spokesperson for Social Safety thanked the two Investigators for bringing this matter to their consideration. He says they apologize for the inconvenience this matter induced Linda Eckel.
However the spokesman didn’t reply our questions on why it occurred to Eckel or in one other case involving extreme delays for an additional girl ready for her survivors advantages. The spokesman denies that these circumstances are examples of a broader drawback.