ElderLawAnswers: Thousands of Elderly and Disabled SSI Recipients Accused of Owning Property That Isn’t Theirs: June 24, 2021
According to a joint report by the National Consumer Law Center and Justice in Aging, thousands of SSI recipients have been accused of owning property they do not own and had to fight to prove a negative, often with little information and no attorney. The problem started in 2018 when the SSA, in an effort to find government assistance beneficiaries owning unreported property that could disqualify them from receiving benefits, began cross-checking lists of property owners on a LexisNexis data set called Accurint for Government. Letters started turning up in the mail informing people that their benefits had been cancelled, and in some cases even demanding repayment. Often the letters did not identify the properties allegedly belonging to the recipients, making it even more difficult for the falsely accused to deny the claims and convince local SSA officials that they owned no property.