I have a friend here in California who is disabled from birth with Cerebral Palsy and has been on SSI for sometime now. A few years ago, in order to survive(lives on his own and is fully self-supporting) and due to rent increases and increases in other expenses he had to start borrowing money in order to make ends meet. Because of his lack of knowledge, he did not notify SSI of this and when they found out, they believed that this was money which was given to him and as a result they cut his benefit to less than half of what it was. This in turn led him to borrow even more money in order to make up this even greater deficit (which ultimately led him to file bankruptcy as some of the money he had to borrow was through credit card debt). In order to disprove this, my friend was able to show them that it was in fact loans which he had received and as a result, they reversed their decision and ultimately restored him back to his correct pay. The question is whether or not it is possible for him to regain his back pay which they had incorrectly had docked him for (which two years worth). He went to his counselor to whom he had requested this who then had him fill out an appeals form but never got back to him. After numerous phone calls and even going down to his office, my friend has begun a letter writing campaign in order to get this resolved but to no avail thus far. He has sent two letters to his counselor (CMRR) and a third one to the Office Manager when there was no reply from the counselor. He is probably going to try to contact the Regional Commissoner next as the people at his local office are just flat out ignoring him. I am somewhat perplexed by this whole fiasco because I have never seen anyone act in such an unprofessional manner especially when you consider that this is someon'e life whom we are dealing with. I've heard a lot of these horror stories but still it is quite unbelievable when you experience them yourself. Any suggestions on what he should do or is there something I'm totally missing here?
I just feel that the lack of respect they've shown to my friend is terrible. At least they should respond to him but I guess for some reason they feel they don't have to. Any help is appreciated.