It is a very basic public service specifically created to address the needs of people with Social Security issues that come up after they have already been approved for benefits. (These are called Post Entitlement Issues, discussed below.) Lawyers can’t charge a fee to perform these services, so typically they won’t help. I see the need. I would like to help but needed a very cost-effective way to provide it. (After all, I do have bills to pay.)
Enter Altheia Lindsey.
Altheia has degrees in Social Work and Criminal Justice. She established a non-profit corporation called: House of Purpose that provides low-cost housing for disabled women. House of Purpose is attempting to expanded into low cost housing for men and emergency shelter for women. House of purpose also helps locate other services disabled people need.
Altheia likes to help. People who need help find me. What I do and what she likes to do fit together. Thus, the “Help Desk.”
She is available from 3 pm to 5 pm every day except Tuesday. I do oversee what she does on Social Security issues and I do pay her (far, far less than her time is actually worth). Demand is high. There is no guarantee that we will choose to help any specific person. If we choose not to help you, it’s nothing personal.
Examples of Post Entitlement Problems:
1. When someone’s identity is stolen, earnings can be reported that don’t belong to the actual Social Security number holder. Benefits can be reduced or cut off entirely. The IRS can get involved.
2. Sometimes, the Social Security Agency will determine for one reason or another that they have paid a beneficiary too much. The person has what is referred to as an “Overpayment.” Then the Agency wants its money back. This can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. People suddenly find themselves with greatly reduced benefits – or no benefits at all.
3. If someone is awarded benefits, and is found not capable of managing their own funds, a payee can be needed.
4. The Agency will do “Continuing Disability Reviews” to make sure the person continues to be disabled. If the Agency determines that the person can go back to work, benefits will stop. The person does get notice this is about to happen but they don’t know what to do about it. So they do nothing, which only creates more problems.
You can find out more about House of Purpose and Altheia at www.houseofpurpose.com; firstname.lastname@example.org 707-208-7831