Before he tried to end his life, William "Willy Boy" Kealoha was a strapping young man.
The shotgun blast that blew off the left side of his face in 2003 sent his life into a tailspin.
Since then, Kealoha has had five operations by a plastic surgeon to repair the damage.
"I am very thankful for what he did. He told me, 'William, your surgery is processing awesome,'" Kealoha said.
But things haven't been easy for Kealoha.
Two years ago, Kealoha won his fight for workers' compensation. But his old employer and their insurance company appealed the award.
Now, the Social Security Administration is challenging Kealoha over disability benefits.
"When we finally won the case that he was entitled for workers comp, Social Security comes back and says, OK, you have to pay us back every penny," attorney Jay Friedheim said.
The amount owed is more than $100,000.
But Friedheim said the checks were cashed by someone else, not his client. Social Security is now keeping his pension as payback.
"They were giving him $566 a month. Then they cut it down to $66. Now they've cut it out entirely," Friedheim said.
Kealoha will have to live without that monthly check for the next 15 years.
Social Security said he didn't prove the overpayments weren't his fault or that losing the disability money would leave him destitute.
"I would not have a home to live. I'd be living out there looking in the trash can, all that kind stuff," Kealoha said.
Friedheim added, "If it's proper to pay it back it'll be paid back. if it's not it'll be used to supplement his income until he goes on to full Social Security when he hits 65."
Meanwhile, Kealoha's scheduled for more surgeries. The next one will enable him to eat solid food.
"They going put something in my mouth for teeth so I can chew," he said.
Kealoha said he maintains a strong faith in God. In June, he'll have a hearing with the Social Security Administration.
And Friedheim expects a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the workers' compensation challenge sometime this summer.
Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
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