Did wrong birth year result in stiff penalty from Social Security?

5:28 PM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Gene Mathis 75, said he looks for strength and comfort in a place where many find them, his bible.

I read my bible, one of my favorite Psalms reads "in thee O Lord do I put my trust," said Mathis.

Mathis, now retired, said he needs the encouragement to face his problems with Social Security, a problem that is two years old.

"They said I owe them 30-thousand dollars," he said. 

Mathis was born 1938, but his Panama City school records show he was born 1942. Mathis said the discrepancy has created a problem with his social security benefits.

"I can't get no understanding from them," he said, "all these years I have been fighting with them."

He said a few years ago Social Security accused of him of being overpaid; now SSA deducts $100 a month from his benefits to reimburse the government.

"They get it before I get mines," he said.

Mathis at one time was also receiving disability benefits, but no longer, could his problems be related to the overpayment? He said he just doesn't know, he was told it is the birth year discrepancy 

"I don't think I owe them all that money," he said.

Mathis lives on $1,019 a month, and wants Social Security to restore the $100 a month to his benefits.

"When I pay all my bills," he said. "I just have enough to buy grocery."

Mathis believes he's demonstrated that he was born 1938 and not 1942 as some records reflect, and if he's really being penalized because of the birth date mix up, he wants it corrected.

"I thought in America a birth certificate meant everything," said Mathis. "I guess not in my case, I must be related to Obama."

Privacy laws prevents social security from discuss the specifics of the problems with Mathis. But they're taking his concerns seriously.

"We are contacting Mr. Mathis today and will provide assistance," said Patti Patterson.

Patterson said taxpayers who are having problems with Social Security should 1-800-772-1213  or the local office at 7851 Bonneval Road.   

Or click on the link for the most frequently asked questions: www.socialsecuirty.gov.

First Coast News

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