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Possible Social Security fraud?

My ex wife got remarried and her new husband died a year later. She collects social security each month for each of my two children. The problem is that one of the kids has lived with me for the last 1 1/2 years. She keeps the benefit money herself.

I am assuming she can be arrested for this?

Now she wants to move my other child out if state. I would like to remind her she could be turned in for the social security fraud.

Is keeping the benefits illegal on her part?? What could happen to her for this?


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It sounds like your ex-wife is the "representative payee" for the two children. In other words, she collects Social Security benefits intended for her minor children. In general, minor children are required to have a representative payee. The representative payee is supposed to spend the funds on the child. The representative payee is required to provide regular accountings to the SSA to show use of funds.

You can report suspected Social Security fraud here :

Depending on the nature of the fraud, officials could certainly take criminal action, which may lead to an arrest. However, I suspect officials would not do that in this case. Jail time for a mother would disruptive for the children, and I believe officials try to avoid that.

More likely, if there is fraud, is a Civil Monetary Penalty, or CMP, action. This may lead to repayment of any misused funds, and a substantial monetary fine as well.


Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration