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Periodic Contributor

I need help and advice concerning a letter I received from Social Security

I get survivor's benefits from my deceased veteran father.  So then what does this mean? If it is an overpayment we can agree to pay back, and they can just take a small amount out of my survivor benefits monthly, since I have been getting them them rightfully since 1991 for my debilitating bipolar schitzo affective disorder, what do these words mean in the letter. It is strange. I have never seen this before:

 

"Based on the information we received, you were "married" from May 15, 2003 to October 12, 2006." (I got NO money from her at all. She was a product of the immigration and green card, and I found out later she was using me, so this is the start of a disturbing issue here. I have not seen her since 2004, although I divorced in a court with free legal services in 2006. Long story.)

 

"This means you should not have been paid benefits from May 2003 through October, 2006." (Again, taking into account I got no money from her at all, and that includes NO help of ANY kind.)

 

"The benefits does not end if you meet the following exceptions: Entitlement does not end if the child (what?) is a child disability beneficiary (CDB) and the marriage is to a Social Security beneficiary other than: a child beneficiary under age 18, or a child beneficiary age 18 or 19 entitled because he or she is a full time student.

 

Please indicate the name of the spouse________

Please indicate her social security number_______ (seriously?!)

Is your former spouse also a child disability beneficiary and a Social Security beneficiary_____"

 

First of all, it is impossible both legally and realistically for me to ever know her social security number, especially when I have not seen her in over 17 plus years, do not know if she is dead, alive or deported, and do not have any rights to even have knowledge of her social security number, much less even know her last name, and not even know if her first and last name is legal or real.

 

I had this letter scanned over by several people, and they are all dumbfounded at this. It is contradictory in so many ways, and leaves question as to what they are really getting at. Whether or not she was a beneficiary of social security?! If it is about the marriage, which was a farce, and I was a victim of abuse and being used, and pretty much did not see her most of that time period, and didn't get anything from her, it is like we might as well have not been married at all.

 

I have until the 17th of December this month to send this back. I heard if you don't, Social Security will send another second letter attempt, which gives me more time until the 1st of January, and is better for me, but that is another part of this. I need professional, compassionate and trained eyes on this post. Please be respectful and non-biased. I would appreciate all the help and advice in how to handle this and what to put in the question lines above, and if I should write a separate personal letter of more explanation in addition to sending back this letter, and thank you. I am a single male at 50 years of age.

 

 

Silver Conversationalist

Have you contacted your local Social Security office? If you don't get satisfaction there, then I suggest you contact an attorney. 

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@ErnestM550561 

I have to gather your info so that I can give you an answer so follow along til the end - meaning I have to think out loud.

 

Detail highlights of your post made on 12/15/2020:
You are a male
You are now single
You are now 50
You have been receiving some kind of (survivor) social security disability benefits since 1994.
You were married for the period of May 2003 - Oct. 2006.

 

My own deductions from the above info:
If you are now 50 and this is 2020 - that means that you were born in 1970.
If you started getting benefits in 1994 then you were 24 years old at the time you started getting benefits.

 

Question:

What type of disability payments are you receiving? 

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)  OR  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) ?

If the former, SSI - was the wife earning money during the marriage?

If the later, SSDI, is it based on your own work record OR if it is a "survivor" benefit, who was the original beneficary - perhaps one of your parents? 

 

Here is what it sounds like to me based on the info that you have given.  I am speculating some here because I don't have all the info from the (above) questions.

 

My GUESS is You are receiving disability benefits as an "adult child" ; based on the work record of one of your parents.  Here is the rule from Social Security: (a little lower than midway down the linked page)

SSA: Disability Benefits - How You Qualify 

 

copy & paste from the above page:

Adults Disabled Before Age 22

An adult disabled before age 22 may be eligible for child's benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a "child's" benefit because it is paid on a parent's Social Security earnings record.

The "adult child"—including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild—must be unmarried, age 18 or older, have a disability that started before age 22, and meet the definition of disability for adults.

What happens if the adult child gets married?

If he or she receives benefits as an adult disabled since childhood, the benefits generally end if he or she gets married. However, some marriages (for example, to another adult disabled child) are considered protected.

 

The rules vary depending on the situation. Contact a Social Security representative at 1-800-772-1213 (If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY number at 1-800-325-0778) to find out if the benefits can continue.

 

end copy / paste

There is more info on this SS page, I have only copy and pasted the info that appears to be relative to what you are asking.

 

Hope this helps.

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Periodic Contributor

I get survivor's benefits from my deceased veteran father. The way the letter is worded is still strange. Truthfully 17 years later? And 14 months AFTER they still know I was "married" because of the divorce certificate. Can you see where this gets people upset? It is about trying to either cut people off or get overpayment monthly deductions, greed to get money for the debt some agencies cause. Not to mention there are multiple documented cases of ILLEGAL UNDOCUMENTED aliens getting benefits they have no right to get.
 
I have been getting this since 1994 because I am documented and tested to be 100 percent bipolar with schitzo affective (NO cure). You see why I am frustrated they send this? I have NO information on this woman, at all. I do not even have any idea where she is, considering I was victimized and used, and do not want to know, nor do I even think about this monster. Even her sister and brother apologized to me for her. And this letter now, 17 years later? All the language is misleading and unnecessary. It says nothing about the facts that are clear at this point.
 
She gave me NOTHING. ZIP. ZERO. So it is like I was not married. Because I got NOTHING out of it. I was vulnerable, depressed, and at a low point in my life. She saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. This is that simple.  So, as I already stated in my last message, which I will repeat, since it seems to be overlooked, is this: I do NOT know her real last name. And I am not even sure her name she gave me is even her real birth name, since she was born in Mexico. There is no way ANY person would know a person's social security number either, especially 17 plus years later, and no marriage or relationship since then. That is private, and considering she got it pretty much by illegitimacy because she wanted a green card, and I found out about this later under false pretenses towards me, that is even more so confirmed.
 
And why would she be getting social security, if that is what this means (I am not sure because the language is awkward and out of place), and why would they even ask that? Especially when they know the first questions are impossible for truly anyone to know, especially after 17 plus years in time. So whomever helps me, make sure they are also showing clear cut empathy, sensitivity, and fully qualified to answer and delegate the information. I have been through enough in my life. I appreciate it. The world has enough problems. We do not need any more.
 
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@ErnestM550561 

Sorry that this situation is happening to you; probably the result of some automatic audit.  You have some advantages - the main one being that this happened so long ago.  But it does have to be handled - hopefully in the easiest way possible - with the least possible stress - this is just one of those life things that crops up occasionally -

 

The objective here is to explain the situation to the Social Security Administration - someone in the system that will understand the problem, stay in contact with you and is able to rectify the situation.  Because of Covid-19 many of them are working remotely but sometimes they might request you to meet with them if there is a local office by appointment and bring any paperwork they may need.  It sounds like they know about the divorce - but they may need more of the story.

 

To explain the situation, as I understand your post, to you as simply as I can  and thus SS rationale for asking about this situation.

You are receiving your Social Security Disability benefits as an "adult child" based on your fathers work record because you were declared disabled for a condition that occurred early in your life (less than 22 years old) before you had any or enough work record to qualify. 

 

Because you are receiving this "adult child disability survivor benefit" you are still considered a dependent of your father- regardless of your age or whether or not your father is living or deceased.  The rule for this type of benefit is that it continues on and on UNLESS you get married.  When you got married back in 2003, your status changed from being a dependent of your dad to being a spouse of the person you married.  Your benefit should have stopped when you got married in 2003 but since it didn't and you got a divorce from this marriage 3+ years later - the period in question is only the period during the marriage - about 40 months or so.

 

There are exceptions to this Social Security rule, one of the exceptions is IF the person you marry is ALSO a disabled adult child person and was receiving these types of benefits.  That is the reason SS in the letter is asking for her SS info so they can check to see if this particular exception applies in this case.

Since it doesn't, it does not apply. 

 

Now let's determine the best way to go about handling this.  I am gonna offer some suggestions in getting you some help.

1.  Do you have a designated person (or entity) that handles your affairs?  That could be a Social Security Representative Payee or someone that has been appointed as a Guardian or Conservator for you.  If you do, that is the person that needs to help in getting this situation rectified.  they need to contact SS and explain the situation and find out what documentation on the sham of a marriage you might have to supply, if any.

2.  If you don't have such as person - you can try calling the Social Security Administration and trying to get to the right person.  (Was there a contact listed in the letter?)  If not, Contact a Social Security representative at 1-800-772-1213 (If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY number at 1-800-325-0778).

3.  If this gets you no where or if you don't feel comfortable handling it this way, your local U.S.Congressman (House of Representatives)  office usually has people on their staff to help with Social Security issues. 

 

I understand why this is upsetting - it would be to anybody - dealing with Bureaucracy is a pain for anybody.  I am hoping that you can find somebody locally to help you get this cleared up.  Again since this happened so long ago, once you get this straightened out, you should keep all the whatever paperwork involved in it FOREVER, just in case it ever crops up again down the road.

 

Here is the Social Security pamphlet on it (SEE PAGE 7 in the pamphlet)

Social Security Administration: Benefits for Children With Disabilities 2020 Edition 

 

Again, I wish there was more I could do for you but I am only a person that knows how to translate SS lingo based on their rules - I have no authority with them.

 

 

 

.

 

 

Periodic Contributor

That's better. To be honest, the Social Security offices gave me bad experience one time in the past, so I won't deal with them again. I'm going to a fed ex computer office and type out a letter and send it with the BNC# number and staple them together and mail it. You confirmed the best way for me to do this is explain in my own words, and about any overpayment or past situation where she was a serious problem and I was never really living with her regardless, and had no support. It's the best I can do. I will also explain this is all I have, and it's a financial and mental hardship without receiving this. I wish I could have a normal life. Thank you for the good help and understanding.

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Good Luck,  @ErnestM550561 - if you do need your Congressman's help, they are there to serve.  They do help out a lot with SS and Medicare issues.

Let us know how things work out. 

Who is "normal" ? Certainly not me.  😉  We each just keep going - doing the best that we can.  👍