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Legal Question for Social Security Experts

 
 
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2008 06:02 pm
A person I know began living under an assumed name in the 1960s, while quite young. He is not a fugitive. He has lived a law abiding life, and has faithfully paid into a single SS account the whole time, under the assumed name. Now he is old enough to draw SS, but has no birth certificate in the name that is on the account. He will not contact the SS Administration, because he fears they may jail him for defrauding the system. I can't believe he would face legal charges. I just need to know the procedure for convincing the SS people he deserves his money.

The only personal details I will give about him is this: He simply did not wish to be a part of the family he was born and raised with, and changed his name. It never occurred to him he would have trouble with it this many years later.
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 1,454 • Replies: 8
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2008 06:12 pm
@edgarblythe,
There is a website called justanswer. I submitted the question to them and recieved this reply (It cost me $15).

He is not going to be charged just for changing his name. The procedure is fairly simple actually and all he needs to do is go to the local court and ask the clerk for a petition for name change and it would be done fairly quickly with the court. Additionally, if all of the benefits are in his assumed name, he should not have a big problem because most benefits do not require birth certificate and will accept a driver's license, SS card and other identification, but the name change process is not really that big of a process and can happen within a month or so.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2008 06:18 pm
@edgarblythe,
Has he been using his legal name in recent years? And has been using the same social security number all along? If so, and he hasn't used an assumed name to commit a crime, I don't think he'll have any problem.

My sister was born -- Lets say Mary Ann Jones (not her real name). When she was very young, my mother divorced her father and married my father who never adopted Mary Ann as his own. But the 'Mary' was dropped and his last name was added--her real last name dropped without anything ever being made official. So she has been "Ann Smith" on all her school records, baptismal certificate, and marriage license until she married at which time she took her husband's last name, my father's last name for a middle name and for all her adult life has been Ann Smith Brown. She never notified the social security administration of her marriage or the difference in name which of course bore no semblance to the name on her birth certificate.

She had no problem at all drawing social security when she turned 62. Probably your friend won't either.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2008 06:20 pm
@Foxfyre,
You are apparently right, foxfyre.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2008 06:24 pm
@edgarblythe,
I think I probably am. They are pretty lenient. My Mom couldn't find a copy of her birth certificate, the hospital where she was born was torn down, and the court house where it was filed burned with all the records in it. And like my sister, she never ever used her first name and married twice. Using the family Bible and a couple of testimonials from family members, she didn't have any trouble getting social security.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2008 09:53 am
@Foxfyre,
This surprised me. A lot, actually.

I know that you don't have registry offices like we have.

But I'd thought that there was some kind of "legal identification" when you do something 'official'. (Baptism is something religious here - no authority bothers about what is written in those certificates, besides church authorities who want to see the birth certificate.)


So you can marry legally under Whatswhoevername, get a driving licence under a different name, marry with your third, change Christian, middle, last names - and no-one really bothers?
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2008 10:14 am
@edgarblythe,
As far as I know, a person is entitled to use whatever name that he wants, as long as he is not attempting to defraud.

My son has a name that can be spelled in various ways. He did not like the way I spelled it on his birth certificate, so he has always used another spelling of the same name. It is on all his records, his social security etc. I don't expect that he will have any problems in the future.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2008 10:20 am
@Phoenix32890,
Phoenix32890 wrote:

My son has a name that can be spelled in various ways. He did not like the way I spelled it on his birth certificate, so he has always used another spelling of the same name. It is on all his records, his social security etc. I don't expect that he will have any problems in the future.[/b][/color]


You'll have that to be done by the registry offices and -since they usually don't do it- by the courts here.

I suppose, Phoenix, you son's situation is different to
what "Foxfyre" wrote:
But the 'Mary' was dropped and his last name was added--her real last name dropped without anything ever being made official. So she has been "Ann Smith" on all her school records, baptismal certificate, and marriage license until she married at which time she took her husband's last name, my father's last name for a middle name and for all her adult life has been Ann Smith Brown. She never notified the social security administration of her marriage or the difference in name which of course bore no semblance to the name on her birth certificate.

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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2008 11:08 am
@edgarblythe,
a similar question came up in canada recntly .
there is apprently no law in the books that prevents you from adopting any name you choose (unless you use it trying to hide from the "authorities" ) .
it may be a bit of bother trying to re-connect the two names , but nothing illegal has been done by using an assumed name .
hbg
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