Ehsan Eftekhari, Eftekhari Law Offices
You know that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? The visceral feeling you get when something has gone horribly wrong? That’s the feeling Mohammed got when he received a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) telling him that he owed them about $6,000. Mohammed has been receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as his only source of income since 2012. Low-income clients like Mohammed have to follow certain rules to receive SSI. Most importantly, they have to make sure they do not own money or assets valued over a certain limit. While Mohammed and his wife were married, the SSA kept track of all of the couple’s assets. When they separated in 2015, Mohammed’s wife took her bank account with her and Mohammed had no control over it. Regardless, in its calculations, the SSA combined both his and his wife’s bank accounts, concluding that Mohammed had excess resources, that he had been overpaid, and that he had to pay back the full amount of his overpaid benefits. At 84 years old, Mohammed has limited English-speaking ability and the equivalent of an eighth grade education. He came to CVLS to rid himself of that sinking feeling. With a hearing date quickly approaching, our staff attorneys were able to continue the case and assign it to attorney Ehsan Eftekhari. Ehsan represented Mohammed at the hearing. He argued that the overpayment was not Mohammed’s fault and that he should not be expected to pay it back. The Administrative Law Judge agreed and issued a fully favorable decision! Thanks to Ehsan, Mohammed’s sole source of income is safe and that sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach is no more.