Ask Larry

What Are My Next Steps?

I am the payee of my daughter’s survivor benefits. She was in the social services system (CPS) for 18 months and now currently back in my custody. Social services said that they are entitled to a portion of her benefits but when she was returned to my custody she did not have any back payments issued. I have called SSA but they said they could not find who was the payee during those 18 months. I’m wondering what my next steps are. Thank you


I'm sorry, but I don't have sufficient information to know what, if anything, needs to be done. If your daughter was in Social Service custody for 18 months, then I assume Social Security would have appointed them to be payee for your daughter and would have sent her benefits to them. That's what happens in most cases, and in most cases that's the proper course of action.

Assuming Social Services was acting as payee for your daughter, they would need to file a final accounting with Social Security showing how they used your daughter's benefits. In most cases Social Security benefits don't fully cover the cost of a person's care while they're in the Social Service system, so it's unlikely that there would have been any unused benefits to be returned to Social Security. If any of your daughter's benefits are returned by Social Services, though, then they should be automatically reissued to you as your daughter's current payee.

Best, Jerry

May 1 2020 - 7:58am
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