WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Washington, D.C., woman fought Uncle Sam for two decades and came out on top.
Wanda Witter, 80, spent years living on the street while trying to get the government to pay her the social security funds she was due, reports WJLA.
She moved to D.C. in 1996 but couldn’t find work and ended up in a shelter. She qualified for social security but disputed the amount. Eventually she stopped getting the checks because the government said she didn’t have a fixed address.
Witter said she wrote letters about her situation that went ignored. Still, she kept pushing.
“I’m stubborn and that’s it. I know I’m entitled to this and somebody is screwing me here and I know this is not right,” she said.
Witter used a dolly to haul around three suitcases full of social security documents and research. A social worker pored through that research and realized Witter was right—the government was wrong.
“We got her this huge result in three months which is amazing. It’s incredible,” said Daniela de la Piedra, who took on the case and turned it over to the AARP-affiliated Legal Counsel for the Elderly.
De la Piedra said the government owed Witter about $100,000. On Aug. 19, Witter’s check for $99,999 was deposited into her account.
She plans to use the money to fix health problems she said were brought on by years of living outdoors. After that, Witter said she’s concerned she’ll waste the windfall.
“I can’t imagine how to handle $100,000. I have never had that kind of money in my life.”