How Your Tax Dollars Are Not Being Spent
If you’ve spent any time in downtown Washington, you’ve probably seen 80-year-old Wanda Witter.
Shock white hair, a determined, unsmiling set to her mouth, jeans. She may have asked you for some change and probably didn’t smile if you gave her some. This month you may have also been taken aback by the black eye and stitches across her face.
For years, Witter bedded down for the night at 13th and G streets NW, on the concrete in her blue sleeping bag, pulled up tight to keep the rats and cockroaches out. Her tower of three suitcases was stacked on her handcart and bike-locked to the patio chairs next to her.
She may have even told you that inside those bags is all the paperwork to prove the government owes her more than $100,000. And she was right.
Social Security Made This Woman Homeless
WASHINGTON (AP) — For years, Wanda Witter has lived on the streets in Washington, D.C., trying to persuade officials that Social Security owes her more than $100,000. For years, the 80-year-old woman says people dismissed her as crazy.
But finally someone listened — and now, her attorney says she’s about to get a $99,999 payout.
Witter moved to the District of Columbia in 1999 to seek work after losing her job as a machinist in New York years earlier, according to The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/2bJAgEr ).
But even though Witter had earned a paralegal certificate to prepare for a new career, she remained jobless. In 2006 she decided to draw Social Security benefits. However, the monthly checks varied wildly, from $900 to $300. Believing the checks were wrong, Witter didn’t cash them and sought help.
“If I just cashed them, who would believe me that they were wrong?” Witter said.
She remained homeless, bedding down on the concrete in a sleeping bag. She kept a tower of three suitcases, containing her Social Security paperwork, next to her.