Life was complicated enough for Bruce and Sarah Whaley. they're raising three children in their Corinth home, one of them disabled, Sarah works full time, but Bruce is also disabled and has been out of work for a couple of years.
Monthly workers compensation and social security checks enable the Whaley's to make ends meet, which helps explain why, just over four months ago, Sarah thought a miracle occurred.
"When I woke up Monday morning, April 14th, I looked in my bank account and saw over $33,000 in our checking account," Sarah recalls. ...
"Social security said it's your money, take it," Sarah says. ...
"Every human being I speak to in social security has a different story on what's going on," Bruce says.
What the Whaley's eventually found out however was that someone at social security didn't realize Bruce was also receiving workers compensation from the state, and if he wasn't collecting that money, he would have been entitled to collect more money from the federal government. That misunderstanding also affected the amount being paid to the Whaley's children.
Even though the Whaley's told social security to stop sending them the money, the money kept coming.
"It all added up before they got it fixed back to his regular pay to $38,124," Sarah says.
And the plot thickens. After initially refusing any repayment, social security finally sent the Whaley's a letter now demanding the $38,000 be paid back or else Bruce's monthly checks would be cut off. ...
Finding themselves in sort of a bizzaro web of bungled burocracy, the Whaley's sent all of the money back by certified check. They have the receipt that someone at Social Security initialed, indicating social security received the checks in early August. Social Security's demand for repayment came just before the Labor Day weekend.