30 years later, Social Security wants its money back

VANCOUVER, Wash. - The Social Security Administration sent Lanier Schriner a shocking letter. It said the feds paid her too much more than 30 years ago, and now they are coming to collect.

More than three decades ago, Schriner was just heading to college along with small disability payments from her deceased father's Social Security.

"I received it before I went to college and then after I turned 18," she said. "Then you could still collect disability and disability payments if you're going to school."

Just last week, the payments came back to haunt her.

"I got this letter, 30-some years later, just the other day, that said I owed a $167 back payment," Schriner said.

It says she was overpaid at some point, but there are no specifics in the letter.

The amount's not important to her, but the time that's passed.

"I think it's ridiculous," she said. "I can give evidence that I don't owe it, but I'm not sure how to do that when I don't have any paperwork from 30-some years ago," she said.

It's a blast from the past that leaves her shaking her head at the workings of the federal government.

"The Social Security Administration - that's one of the entities that I've always thought was run incorrectly. Now they want more to run incorrectly," she said.

The Social Security Administration wouldn't speak about the specifics of this case, citing privacy issues.

But it says every person has the option to appeal if they disagree with a payment issue. It also couldn't provide any specific reason why such an old charge would suddenly reappear.

If Schriner doesn't pay and doesn't appeal, the money will be taken out of her next tax refund.