Why Did Social Security Cut Off My Widow's Benefits?

Category: 
Mar 13 2019 - 3:04pm

I was the payee for my daughter's ssi checks .so when my husband died they split the survivors check between us .she got married and moved out I reported it to them and forwarder her address to them .well now they cut my widow check off as well as her check .I feel I'm entitled to his benefits still .they sent me s bill for 2400 .oo to pay off .I don't have a income of my own .I don't work ,I babysit . Thanks for ur help .

Hi,

If your daughter's married, she's probably not eligible for Social Security survivor benefits on her father's record. A marriage terminates child or disabled adult child's benefits unless the person you marry is eligible for certain types of Social Security benefits (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0414.html).

If your daughter's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments ended due to her receipt of Social Security survivor benefits, she may want to look into re-applying for SSI benefits. SSI is a needs based payment, so it's possible that the termination of her survivor benefits could mean that she now again meets the SSI guidelines. I don't have enough information about her current income and resources to know if she would qualify, though.

With regard to your situation, I can't say for sure but the most likely reason that your Social Security survivor benefits have been suspended would be to recover an overpayment. Since you were payee for your daughter, it could be that your daughter was overpaid and Social Security considers you liable for repayment. You should have received a notice in the mail from Social Security explaining why they are suspending your benefits, so if you haven't gotten that you'll probably want to contact Social Security for an explanation.

Assuming that an overpayment is the explanation for your benefit suspension, your possible methods of recourse would be to either file a request for appeal or file for waiver (i.e. forgiveness) of the overpayment, or both. You would want to file an appeal if you believe that there was no overpayment or that the amount of the overpayment is wrong. If you feel that the overpayment is correct but that you a) shouldn't be held liable for repaying the overpayment, or b) you weren't at fault in causing the overpayment and you are either financially unable to repay the overpayment or you feel that recovery of the overpayment is unfair for some reason, then you would likely want to pursue a waiver. For more information on overpayment causes and recourses, refer to the following Social Security website: https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-overpay-ussi.htm.

Best, Jerry