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just got slightly terrifying letter in the mail (financial) Update #65


ktgrok
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My ex has been on disability for a long time. Pretty much most of the time we've been divorced, so 10 years? Because of this my son gets a payment each month, and that is the only child support I get for him. I just got a letter saying that based on work my ex did, they are saying my son is not, and WAS NOT eligble for payments since january 2014! That's TWO years! Are they going to demand that money back? Cause I don' have it, not without raiding our retirement savings. And obviously, if that was my child support, my ex should pay it back. But he has no money. And so I'm sure they'd go after us. And what the heck, he hasn't worked in I don't know when. Briefly he did, but that was before he ended up needing a kidney transplant. And I assumed he'd worked that out with social security back then! 

 

I just emailed him, but I'm freaking out. And my husband will freak out even more. Way more. Like, not sleeping more. 

 

The letter says there is only 10 days to appeal. But I can't appeal, I don't even know what they are talking about!

Edited by ktgrok
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He's calling them now to find out what is going on. But I'm scared. Really scared. and how do I defend myself when I don't have any of the details of my ex working, etc? I mean, I have NO information to use here. 

 

 

You don't defend yourself. You have an attorney do it. This is beyond self defending.

 

 

ETA: This situation is really rotten. You have my empathy.

Edited by Jyhwkmama
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He's calling them now to find out what is going on. But I'm scared. Really scared. and how do I defend myself when I don't have any of the details of my ex working, etc? I mean, I have NO information to use here. 

 

You can appeal and you can also file for a waiver of the repayment due to it causing a financial hardship. 

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Talked to the ex. He is going to take his paperwork from the time period he did work in to the local Social Security office. He will drive to his parents' house tomorrow to get all the documentation. I will be checking daily to see if how this is resolved, and if not fixed in the next 72 hours will get an attorney. 

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In good news, he has involved his parents. He's um...not motivated generally (although having to pay back his benefits seems to have scared him) but his parents are capable and financially savvy people. he's already talked to them. 

 

And this seems to stem from a period he worked, briefly. But at the time he was told that there was a 9 month grace period, to continue getting benefits while he and doctor determined if he could handle working. He couldn't. He stopped working (and ended up with a kidney transplant on top of his cardiomyopathy) and has had nothing but medical problems since. 

 

I find it very odd they are doing this 2 years later. Wondering if he angered someone who tried to turn him in?

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I find it very odd they are doing this 2 years later. Wondering if he angered someone who tried to turn him in?

 

That, and the fact that you get only ten days to appeal turns on my suspicious meter.

 

I don't have any experience in these matters so take w/ a grain of salt, but I've found that if you communicate and request an extension, you can get one.

 

I'll ask DH for his thoughts. He can be good at this sort of thing.

 

Few people can come up w/ the kind of money you're talking about. You're not alone in that respect at all.

 

Alley

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Do you have the state involved with child support? Did the state garnish his SSDI in lieu of paying?

 

You personally should not be liable. Social Security attorneys in the land of old people should be plentiful. ;) Don't let the deadline pass based on any of Ex-H's promises. I'd call around and get a recommendation now. Typically they work on contingent fees and offer free consults. If the state is involved re: child support enforcement, call your liaison there as well.

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no, the state isn't involved in his child support at all. Our agreement is 10 years old, and for less than I've been getting from social security. So yeah,I could be in trouble. 

 

Also I did some research and the trial work period is 9 months, NOT cumulative, over FIVE years. I know he worked for a bit a long time ago, and I'm now wondering if he didn't realize it was cumulative over 5 years, and he really did screw this up. I remember him working at a book store for a while, then quitting. Then years later working in a medical office. 

 

Will ask around about social security attorneys asap. 

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Well, the paper didn't say "you owe us this money" it just said that payments were terminated as of January 2014. Given that I've continued to recieve payments I'm assuming they would want the money back. 

 

And I just talked to him more via text. I'm now thinking yes he screwed up. Bad. 

 

You can't work more than 9 months in 5 years. He worked in 2008 some, then in 2011 for a few months, then in 2014. He is claiming he was told that the 2011 counted in the 5 years from 2008. And that in 2011 he was in a "new 5 year period" and had 9 more months. Except...it says on the website for SSA that it is a "rolling" 5 years. So I'm thinking that 2011 and 2014 must have added up and triggered this. 

 

I'm so angry and frustrated and worried I'm sick. I KNOW he isn't trustworthy. I KNOW he can't handle things. But for heavens sake, I couldn't as his ex wife go with him to the SSA back in 2014 when he started working. And I certainly didn't think the SSA would pay out for 2 more years and then change its mind! When he started working I figured if benefits stopped we would then rework out child support. But they didn't stop, he didn't keep working, so I didn't worry about it. 

 

Obviously a mistake. 

I don't know how to tell DH. He worries about money anyway. This will stress him out to the point I'll be worried for his health. I may wait a day or two to see if I can get more info first. 

 

But prayers are welcome. I'm honestly sick over this. 

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Yeah.... speak to an attorney now, not in 72 hours. If the ex comes through, well, great, it wont hurt anything to get a comsult and the cost may be worth it to calm the stress your DH will apparently have, if there's even a cost, but these sorts of services are often free consult. And if he doesn't come through, well, you started the ball rolling. 

 

I agree, it sounds like 2011 and 2014 added up, it is 'within a 5 year period' not 'per 5 years'

 

 

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I second the recommendation to get an attorney ASAP. Since this is his SSI benefit, not yours, I don't think it will be your responsibility to repay. Also, the benefits available to dependents of the disabled are not determined on the basis of child support. They are determined by the social security administration. https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/dfamily.html#fmax

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I second the recommendation to get an attorney ASAP. Since this is his SSI benefit, not yours, I don't think it will be your responsibility to repay. Also, the benefits available to dependents of the disabled are not determined on the basis of child support. They are determined by the social security administration. https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/dfamily.html#fmax

 

Yes, but I get the payments directly. They go straight from Social Security Administration to me, on behalf of my son. My son's money is paid to him, not to my ex, so I would be the one to repay. Of course, then he would owe back child support for that time period, but honestly, he has no job and would be in debt. I wouldn't get a dime from him. 

 

I

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Is the check made out to you or to your son?

Is your SSN attached to the payments at all?

 

Try not to panic, though. Talk to a lawyer. I just don't think they can require you to personally repay when the error wasn't yours and the benefits aren't yours.

 

I know, the not panicking part is easier said than done, though. Sorry you have to go through this.

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Is the check made out to you or to your son?

Is your SSN attached to the payments at all?

 

Try not to panic, though. Talk to a lawyer. I just don't think they can require you to personally repay when the error wasn't yours and the benefits aren't yours.

 

I know, the not panicking part is easier said than done, though. Sorry you have to go through this.

 

IT's made out to me. I'm the "representative payee" for my son. It's attached to my son's SSN I believe. 

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The fact that it isn't attached to your SSN is a good sign, I think.

 

Please do let us know what the attorney says when you get ahold of one. It would be great to have this in my knowledge bank in case it comes up elsewhere.

 

Many hugs coming your way!

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I really don't think there is any way that you as a third party can be held responsible for any overpayment. And it sounds like waivers are not that difficult to obtain if the overpayment was not caused by fraud on the recipient's part.

 

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-do-when-social-security-says-you-received-disability-overpayment.html

 

I think you will be OK.

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Do you have the state involved with child support? Did the state garnish his SSDI in lieu of paying?

 

You personally should not be liable. Social Security attorneys in the land of old people should be plentiful. ;) Don't let the deadline pass based on any of Ex-H's promises. I'd call around and get a recommendation now. Typically they work on contingent fees and offer free consults. If the state is involved re: child support enforcement, call your liaison there as well.

 

This is what I would do.

 

I'd still try to figure out if everything is totally above board. Scams happen.

 

Alley

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You do have some responsibility as the payee. Theoretically, you would get a waiver by showing you did not know your Ex-H was ineligible to receive benefits. This is only a notice of ineligibility, not demanding repayment, correct? Those I think give 30 days though there is an appeal process that would delay it and ultimately payment plans in worst case scenario. Two years isn't that long of a delay. They've come after adults who received benefits as children and had no clue/choice in the matter. So you want to make sure that you not only get yourself off the hook, but you also get you future adult son off the hook so to speak. It's a very strange process and definitely a niche area of law practice, so find an expert.

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You do have some responsibility as the payee. Theoretically, you would get a waiver by showing you did not know your Ex-H was ineligible to receive benefits. This is only a notice of ineligibility, not demanding repayment, correct? Those I think give 30 days though there is an appeal process that would delay it and ultimately payment plans in worst case scenario. Two years isn't that long of a delay. They've come after adults who received benefits as children and had no clue/choice in the matter. So you want to make sure that you not only get yourself off the hook, but you also get you future adult son off the hook so to speak. It's a very strange process and definitely a niche area of law practice, so find an expert.

 

That's what I'm hoping. This is the law firm that was recommended. http://prwdisability.com

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BTW, you should file for child support now.

Because often once that is litigated it backdates to the date you file.

 

It would be pointless. He has no job, and if this happens he will have no SSDI, so no income at all. There is no way to get child support from someone without any money. 

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Not sure if this is the same, but I am Rep Payee for my adult son with autism.  Last year the Social Security folks decided that two months of the year I was recuperating from the car crash (and unable to take Joe anywhere, usually I bank some of his check to pay for a plane ticket when I fly to see my folks in California and take Joe with me - obviously that didn't happen that year!) Joe's assets went over the $2,000 mark.  Since Joe had "too much money" those months he would have to have his monthly check reduced 10% for two years to "pay them back" for the two months he (according to SS folks) should NOT have gotten a SS check. 

 

I was able to show the nice lady at the local SS office that one month Joe's assets looked too high due to his direct deposit check coming from Social Security on Dec 1, as it was supposed to for December, AND on Dec 31 (for January) - their fault, not mine, that Joe was over that month.  So Joe only has to have his check reduced 10% for ten months now, not twenty.  I think she was also sympathetic when I told her I tried to save enough money in his bank account to cover any dental work he may need (Medicaid here in Illinois keeps giving and then taking away dental for adults - and Joe has needed one crown already, back when it wasn't covered and it had to be paid out-of-pocket!  )  But they have strict rules they must follow.

 

So - I think worse case scenario SS may reduce your son's checks for a time. But I encourage you to find an attorney that specializes in Social Security.

Edited by JFSinIL
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Not sure if this is the same, but I am Rep Payee for my adult son with autism.  Last year the Social Security folks decided that two months of the year I was recuperating from the car crash (and unable to take Joe anywhere, usually I bank some of his check to pay for a plane ticket when I fly to see my folks in California and take Joe with me - obviously that didn't happen that year!) Joe's assets went over the $2,000 mark.  Since Joe had "too much money" those months he would have to have his monthly check reduced 10% for two years to "pay them back" for the two months he (according to SS folks) should NOT have gotten a SS check. 

 

I was able to show the nice lady at the local SS office that one month Joe's assets looked too high due to his direct deposit check coming from Social Security on Dec 1, as it was supposed to for December, AND on Dec 31 (for January) - their fault, not mine, that Joe was over that month.  So Joe only has to have his check reduced 10% for ten months now, not twenty.  I think she was also sympathetic when I told her I tried to save enough money in his bank account to cover any dental work he may need (Medicaid here in Illinois keeps giving and then taking away dental for adults - and Joe has needed one crown already, back when it wasn't covered and it had to be paid out-of-pocket!  )  But they have strict rules they must follow.

 

So - I think worse case scenario SS may reduce your son's checks for a time. But I encourage you to find an attorney that specializes in Social Security.

 

The problem is they are saying my husband no longer qualifies for SSDI, which means my son would no longer recieve checks, which means there are no checks to reduce. They'd have to actually demand payment or garnish tax returns (and we owe money this year, so nothing there) or garnish wages. 

 

Now, they haven't asked for repayment yet, but I'm not waiting for that. 

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Spoke with a lawyer I know, who doesn't do this kind of law but gave me the name of someone she says is amazing. filled out a contact for there too. Also texted my ex to let him know he should get a lawyer, and to please get me copies of paperwork. Have not heard back, he's probably still sleeping (at 10:30 in the morning.) I'm hoping to get more info from him later today, and if at that time I haven't been contacted by a lawyer I'll actually phone one of them. Ugh. 

 

I hate phone calls. I hate money stress. I hate that my ex is still messing things up 10 years after we separated!!! 

 

Oh, and if this doesn't get dealt with the BEST case is they go after my SON for the money! This debt could follow him too! SO FREAKING ANNOYED at my ex!

 

he says they gave him the wrong information at SSA. Which may be true, it happens. But it took me ONE google search to find the ACTUAL guidelines! Why couldn't he have checked? And honestly it's hard to believe him...everything is always someone else's fault 

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UGH!!!

 

So, I called the number for the main social security administration office. Thats the number on the form they sent me. Was told it was an hour hold time, or they could call me back. Had them call me back. sat around waiting, freaking out. They spend five minutes quizzing me to verify my identity and my son's. Then tell me they don't have th information there, I have to contact a local office. 

 

I call the local office and sit on hold 15 minutes. Get a guy who then explains that there is NOTHING I can do at this point, because it isn't about me or my son, it's about my ex husband. Due to privacy issues they can't tell me anything, and there is no way for me to contest anything. I have to hope my ex does. If he doesn't or is unsuccessful then I can just wait for a notice of repayment, which will come to me directly. THEN I can file a waiver to try to transfer the debt to my ex, because it wasn't my fault. The man on the phone says this is highly likely to work, IF it is not my fault and I can't repay it. But....the waiver form says you have to list all your assets. Including retirement accounts. WE do have enough in there to pay it back. So I'm very worried that they will come after that, given we have money, rather than go after my ex, who has zero money and will already owe them tens of thousands that he can't pay. 

 

On top of the issue that I now won't be receiving that payment and he can't afford to pay child support. 

 

I want to throw up. Hiring a lawyer right now does NOTHING because I don't have standing to contest anything. I have to wait and see what happens, trust me ex to give me the real scoop and then IF/When I get a repayment notice THEN hire a lawyer. 

 

I'll have to tell my husband now. 

 

Oh and so far my ex is "hoping to get his paperwork together today"

What the hell? Hoping? And he's waiting to talk to SSA until after he does that. Which means I'm waiting. He has a history of procrastinating EVERYTHING. 

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I was hoping to find an update with good news for you.  Waiting on someone else to right things for you (when you know his shortcomings) is not ideal!!  Especially when you will pay (no pun intended) the consequences.  I hope you are not penalized for all of this!!  

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:cursing:  :cursing:  :cursing:  :cursing:  :cursing:  :cursing:  :cursing:  :cursing:  :cursing:

 

Just talked to my ex. He has not driven to his parents' house to get any paperwork. He is calling them next, supposedly, to see if he got a letter yet, as he didn't think he had one yet but his mail goes there. (yes, he's 43 years old and his mail goes to his mommy and daddy's house.)

 

He called, at my repeated urging via text messaged, the local SSA office. They said they can't find the letter in their system at this time but "put a note in the computer" that he's contesting it. Um, right. like I trust that. Then made him an appointment for the 15th!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, you are correct, that is past the freaking time they give you to contest!!!!!!!!!!! But my ex said, "oh, it's okay, the guy said he put in a note that I'm contesting it,so it's fine." Right, these are the same people that have either made a grievous mistake OR who gave you bad advice about working. Either way, don't trust them! 

 

He is going to call his parents soon because their mail comes late, to see if the letter is there. Then I told him he NEEDS to get to th local office and find out what on earth is going on! Find out WHY they are canceling benefits, and if it is legit. THEN he can mount a defense. at this point he keeps saying "i'm sure i't s mistake, it will be fine, it might just take a while."

 

I'm going to freaking drive down there and grab him by the neck and force him into the office!

Actually, no, I can't. But I'm seriously considering contacting his mom on Facebook and telling her she need to make him go sooner. (yes, we are Facebook friends, mostly to exchange pictures of my son.)

 

Would that be too weird? DoI even care? What the heck!

 

He's saying now he didn't work enough months, he doesn't think, or make enough money, and it has to be a mistake. And if it isn't, they won't want all the money back anyway, or something. I'm ready to explode. 

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Katie, that's just appalling. He made the mess. It should be his to clean up, financial consequences and all. (I know life doesn't always work that way.) Can you call his parents and see if they can light a fire under him? So sorry you're dealing with all this stress.

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I'd still do a consult with a lawyer now so you can be better prepared for when you do need to file a waiver. Plus the lawyer may have other good advice for the situation.

 Just got an email from the lawyer that there is nothing he can do for me at this point. I don't have standing. 

 

If/when I get a notice of repayment I'll hire one. 

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I will contact his mother AND his sister...I have her on Facebook too. Maybe one of them will be able to get him to realize this isn't a "wait and see" kind of situation. 

 

So...yeah. Gee, wonder why we aren't still married....sigh. 

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