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Is a written request required for an unpaid benefit to be paid to a living person?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

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There are 7 Comments

SS recorded the wrong day of death for my father and took back two payments from his checking account. Now his date of death is fixed in their system and now his account is showing a underpayment. You would think they would just return the money back the way they took it (electronically) but NOT. I have filled out paperwork and was also required to have a court ordered document showing them I am the representative for my father's estate. I have been going through this for a month now and still no check. I have made 5 phones calls and three visits to their office and still NO results. Don't think about leaving them a message they won't call you back. If SS needs more information they don't ever call you and tell you that. They just keep delaying the process. I am sick to death of having to spend ALL my time dealing with something that was CLEARLY their mistake. Now their saying they get to decide how it is distributed out. None of this would have happen if everything was verified in the first place. It only took them less than 24 hours to withdraw the funds but so far it has taken me month to get absolutely no where with them. They are just a bunch of thieves.

The government underpaid me for 30 years (how many SS recipients have received SS for that length of time) and now have changed my name, denying me my constitutional rights and citizenship..

Represented claimant at ALJ hearing in 1/11. Recieved Decision letter for Fully Favorable in 2/11. Received Award letter 2/25/11 with an underpayment amount of $29K. Judge approved Fee Agreement for 25% of back pay. How long does it take for the Payment Center in Baltimore to process and distribute the back pay?

Please contact the SSA directly for this.

My sons father passed owing a child support judgement of $15,701.04. He was awarded an underpayment 3 years back totaling $31,000.00. The attorney was paid almost immediately his $6,000.00 fee.

One of my sons became disabled at the age of 20 yes., the other over 18 at time of Father's death. Still, the judgement is owed and should be paid fully out of the underpayment awarded, but over a year & still has not, since there is a one year old child involved.

Everytime SS office is called, a different person gives a different excuse as to why judgement has not been paid & say they didn't know about disabled son, & any underpayment awarded would go soley to the one year old child...

All info was given to them in the beginning,& the new underage child does need to be cared for by his deceased Father's awarded benefit, but I struggled to financially care for his two older sons while he had no funds for any support and now the arrears by judgement should be paid in lump sum to me as well as disabled son being added to his Father's claim.

This situation is a bit uncommon, so you'll want to do your own research and seek advice as needed.

I'm not sure what benefits the decedent was entitled to, but here is the stated policy for Title II cases :

GN 02301.030 Title II Underpaid Person is Deceased
A. Policy for statutory order for payment for Title II benefits

If the underpaid beneficiary is deceased, payment must be made under the following order of priority:

  1. to the surviving spouse who was either living in the same household as the deceased at the time of death or who, for the month of death, was entitled to a monthly benefit on the same record as the deceased beneficiary.

    NOTE: A surviving divorced spouse does not qualify for an underpayment under this provision.

  2. to the child who, for the month of death, was entitled to a monthly benefit on the same earnings record as the deceased.
  3. to the parent who, for the month of death, was entitled to a monthly benefit on the same earnings record as the deceased.
  4. to the surviving spouse not qualified under a.above.
  5. to the child not qualified under GN 02301.030A.b.
  6. to the parent not qualified under GN 02301.030A.c.
  7. to the legal representative of the deceased person's estate. (See GN 02301.035 on payment to a legal representative.)

Title II of the Social Security Act pertains to Federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance benefits.

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