KETCHUM, Okla. -- A woman with a mental disability said her livelihood was taken from her when she was cheated out of more than $17,000 in social security backpay.
Vickie Hall, who lives in Ketchum said because she has a mental disability, she was assigned a payee to take care of her money.
She alleges her former payee took advantage of her disability and stole the only money she has to live on.
For the longest time, Hall said no one would take her seriously when she brought up the issue. So, one day she decided to march down to the social security office and got proof.
Hall lists the simple things in life that make her happy, such as watching TV, doing crossword puzzles and going for walks. She said these are things she never experienced before moving to Ketchum.
“You have no self esteem,” Hall said. “I didn't go anywhere when I lived on the project."
She recalls a former life, when she was housed at a rest care facility after being diagnosed with a mental disability.
She adds not only did the facility steal her passion for life, but it stole her money.
“I had a backpay check of $17,306 that they electronically put in their bank account and I didn't know about it,” Hall said.
Hall said with her mental disability, a trusted payee is responsible for managing her funds, and she never expected them to take advantage of her disability.
“Later on I hear a phone conversation with social security,” Hall said.
She adds she heard a conversation that her social security backpay check had been transferred. It was a check she never saw a cent from. So, to back up her claim, she went to social security, who showed her proof of the $17,306 received by her assigned payee.
It’s then she said she knew that someone used her mental disability as an open door to greed.
“I found out by mistake on a phone call,” Hall said. “Had I not found it out, I could never go retrieve it.”
She said all that money she didn't know she had, could have been used on her three children she desperately wanted to spoil.
“For all times I haven't been able to [buy] birthday parties and birthday presents…”
Presently, she has left that rest care facility and moved on to an independent living facility where she feels like she's found hope and a new payee.
Her smiles come more often, as she finds the determination to fight for what's rightfully hers.
Hall wants her story to serve as a warning to other people with disabilities who may be taken advantage of. She has filed a police report and the case has been turned over to the Claremore District Attorney’s Office along with Adult Protective Services.
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