SS trying to make me pay my deceased fathers overpayment

Reply Thu 13 Oct, 2022 03:10 pm
My husband got a letter from Social Security Administration saying we owed them $3970.98. After a trip to the SSA local office, we were told that the debt was not my husbands, but it was his fathers, who was overpaid by Social Security. My father in law passed away in 1980! 42 years ago! When asked why they were just not contacting us, they said because you are the first of your fathers children (of 6 siblings) to retire. (??) My husband retired in 2020.
They said they would contact us by mail in 60 to 90 days regarding this matter but till then they would cancel the confiscation of our Social Security Benefits!!! They had actually planned to take our benefits until the debt was paid!!!
What should we do right now? I am not willing to wait 60 to 90 days and then have them hijack our benefits because we did not respond to them for so long.
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 160 • Replies: 3
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Reply Thu 13 Oct, 2022 03:41 pm
You should immediately contact a tax lawyer.
Reply Thu 13 Oct, 2022 04:34 pm
I am not sure it would be smart to hire a lawyer for such a small amount, we may end up paying him/her more than if we just paid the SSA bill. I just find it hard to believe they can actually do this.
Reply Thu 13 Oct, 2022 06:50 pm
You can pay for a one or two hour information session to find out if they can do that and what you can do about it. Seriously. It might be worth the money. It doesn't sound reasonable to me for a govt agency to wait 42 years to pounce on a family member who had nothing to do with this. They should have made arrangements for repayment with him, and I personally believe their mistake is their mistake and they should take no action. I have a hard time believing that, legally, the family is responsible. A quick one hour visit with a tax lawyer could answer that.

Failing that, you could call them, speak to someone else and ask about the situation. You might have been talking to someone who was recently hired and doesn't know the system. My sister worked in Tax Relief for the Canadian Tax Agency and she would get this type of situation all the time. There might be a similar department where you live.
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