Family says pleas to restore daughter's Social Security benefits have been heard



ST. CLOUD, Fla. - A misunderstanding put a 12-year-old girl with Down syndrome at risk of losing her Social Security benefits.

The problem started when the girl's brother joined the Army.

Shellby Moon's father Chris Moon said his daughter is an active girl.

"She hates missing school for anything," said Chris Moon. "She loves track and field, swimming, gymnastics."

Shellby's parents both hold low-wage jobs and depend on Social Security to help pay for the care their daughter needs.

"Her asthma medication, when it runs out, where do we turn to?" said Chris Moon.

When Shellby's brother joined the Army he wanted his parents' names on his financial account in case of an emergency.

Months later that caused the Social Security Administration to flag the Moon's account, and cut off Shellby's benefits.

"They say I'm on his account, which accounts for my income. It's clearly not my income, it's my son's income," said Chris Moon.

To receive Shellby's benefits the Moons are not allowed to have assets totaling more than $2,000.

"Her inhalers are $300 to $400 a month," said Chris Moon. "There's no way we can come up with that kind of money every month."

To make matters worse for the Moons, the Social Security Association askedthe family to pay back $4,100. That is the amount of benefits money they have received since their son added his name to their account.

"We've spent hours on the phone to Social Security. They tell us to go to Kissimmee, our local office. We spend hours at our local office," Chris Moon said. "They give us that, 'Oh well' look."

The Moons said the prayed that the misunderstanding gets resolved soon.

"If nothing is resolved we'll probably end up losing the house," Chris Moon told Channel 9's Lori Brown.

Late Thursday as Brown's story was airing on Channel 9 Eyewitness News, she learned that the Social Security Administration said Shellby's benefits will be restored.