Thursday 25 August 2016

Homeless Woman Proves Social Security Owns Her Over $100,000

For years, Wanda Witter has lived on the streets in Washington, DC, trying to persuade officials that Social Security owes her more than $100,000. For years, the 80-year-old woman says people dismissed her as crazy.
But finally someone listened - and on Tuesday she received a $99,999 payout, The Washington Post reported.
Witter, a mother of four daughters, moved to the District of Columbia in 1999 to seek work after losing her job as a machinist in Corning, New York years earlier, according to The Post.
But even though Witter had earned a paralegal certificate to prepare for a new career, she remained jobless - and ended up sleeping in shelters or on the streets of DC.

In 2006 she decided to draw Social Security benefits. However, the monthly checks varied wildly, from $900 to $300. Believing the checks were wrong, Witter didn't cash them and sought help.
'If I just cashed them, who would believe me that they were wrong?' Witter said.

She remained homeless, bedding down on the concrete in a sleeping bag. Witter kept a tower of three suitcases, containing her Social Security paperwork, next to her.
She did not tell her relatives about her situation, out of pride. When one of her daughters found her in DC, Witter told her she had to stay until she got her money.

Witter said she was repeatedly offered mental health counseling when it wasn't what she needed. 
'She needed economic help, not mental help,' social worker Julie Turner said. 'That's part of the problem with homelessness in DC. So many cases are written off as being about mental illness. A lot of times, homelessness really is simply about economics.'
Turner was the one who finally listened to Witter in 2015. Instead of dismissing Witter as crazy, Turner patiently waded through her documents and verified her story.
'She had all the paperwork there, neatly organized, in order. She was right all along. They did owe her all that money,' Turner said.
Turner took Witter to attorney Daniela de la Piedra, who took on her case. In June, a Social Security official finally acknowledged Witter's case and wrote her a $999 check — the most that could be written on the spot.
Last week, Witter received her first full payment — $1,464. Witter received a $99,999 Social Security deposit in her bank account on Tuesday.
And last week, Witter moved into a studio apartment on Capitol Hill.
Social Security officials declined to comment.

Read more: Dailymail

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