Disabled Chapel Hill woman told she must repay $19,000

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Carla Shuford was told by the state that she owes $19,000.

A disabled Chapel Hill woman owes the state $19,000 in disability benefit overpayments, and she isn't sure how she will pay that money back.

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Carla Shuford, 74, is asking the Department of State Treasurer to let the situation go.

But the State Treasurer's office said it can't - and must follow the law.

Shuford is disabled after losing one of her legs at age 15.

Several years ago, the former secretary at UNC-Chapel Hill, retired from the job after a severe bout of depression.

The state qualified her for disability insurance, but this month, she was notified of a discrepancy.

For more than a decade, Shuford was overpaid disability benefits.

The state announced it would be cutting her monthly $1,000 to just a few hundred bucks.

Shuford negotiated paying the bill over the next 10 years, but since she can no longer work, Shuford says she doesn't know how she is going to supplement her income.

"You are hurting and punishing the very people this program has been set up for," Shuford said. "And I don't want to rush into anything - like sell my house."

ABC11 spoke to Dale Folwell, the new state treasurer.

Folwell said this issue is complex and originated with previous administrations.

He said his team is discovering tens of millions of dollars in overpayments in state worker disability plans, pensions and possibly state health plans.

"We have almost $800 million leaving the treasurer's office," Folwell said. "We have a responsibility to both the members of our plans and the laws of NC that when there is an overpayment we have to work with people to get that money back."

Folwell said his team hopes to develop a policies and procedures to keep overpayments from happening in the future.

Shuford says she is exploring her legal options.
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financechapel hill newsdisabilitydisability issuesChapel Hill
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