I Was a NYC Teacher. Will I Go to Jail Because the City Overpaid Me? – June

“Dear Steve,

I worked as a NYC teacher. I was injured 6 years ago flling down the stairs. It was a line-of-duty accident, not subject to worker’s compensation laws. The departments doctor found me disabled, but did not make a final determination until 7 months later. They kept paying my salary. Then the doctor said that even though I was injured, he would only allow me 6 months. I did not file to sue within 90 days. I did not have money to go to pay for arbitration. In the mean time, they terminated me, I was deemed totally disabled by social security, and my only income is from that. Later on, the city sued me for overpayment of salary, but I can’t pay them back.

I am so depressed. I am supposed to go to a court hearing in two days. I have no lawyer, and am so scared. I am afraid to go to the hearing. I am also in a lot of physical and emotional pain. The day after the court hearing, my daughter is going to have major surgery. IAs a mother, I am totally worried about her. I don’t know what to do. I use access-a-ride to get around. I don’t even know how long the court hearing would be to plan a return trip home. Please help me. What can I do? Will I have to go to jail?


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Dear June,

Take a deep breath, you will not go to jail.

Since the court date is upon us you might want to contact the court and see if you can get the date pushed back so you have time to contact Legal Services NYC to see what help they might be able to give you in this matter.

It sounds like you would be eligible for their assistance. I just don’t know what area of NYC you live in or even if you are still in NYC. Their locations page provides information where their offices are.

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It sounds like you have few, if any, other assets for anyone to go after. What I’d really need to know is if this is your only debt or not. If you have other debts it might be time to deal with all of this at once so you can move forward with your life without all the stress and worry.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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