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Survivor Benefits cut... again

My husband and father of our two children passed away in 2006. For the second time in as many years, I have received notification from SSA that they believe they have overpaid our survivor benefits. They are claiming this is due to my income, however I do not receive any widow benefits because of my income. I have not received any personal benefit since 2006. My two daughters, ages 5 and 7 both receive their survivor benefit and obviously do not have any form of income on their own. Can SSA do this? I have been told numerous times that my income does not affect their benefit, however the SSA insist on trying to make it happen that way. They apparently do not even understand how their own system is supposed to work. Help!


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Yes, this sounds a little odd. In general, survivor benefits a widow would receive are not dependent on the widow's income. Benefit amounts, however, generally do depend on the income record of the deceased worker (higher income history means higher benefit for survivors).

Receipt of widow's benefits in general depend on the age of the widow (age 60 generally for reduced benefits, 50 for disabled widows). Income of the widow is not a factor.

A deceased worker's unmarried children who are younger than age 18 also can receive survivor benefits.

http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/185

There is a limit to the benefits that can be paid to you and other family members each month. The limit varies, but is generally between 150 and 180 percent of the deceased’s benefit amount. This potentially could be the source of the problem here.

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10084.html#3

You may want to file an appeal, or even consider third party (legal) assistance for your case.

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10041.html

I am having the same problem. They have sent me several notices of overpayment, and although I have requested the waiver because the overpayment was not my fault (three times), they are stopping benefits. I have called numerous times, the only advice they gave was to go to my local SSA office (which for me is 70 miles away) and try to get someone to listen. I need this money to care for my daughter! It plainly states that if the overpayment was not your fault and will cause financial hardship to fill out the waiver request. I cannot afford an attorney!

If you were not at fault in causing the overpayment, you may not have to repay it. You may request a waiver of repayment of the overpayment at any time by completing Form SSA-632 and returning it to your local office.

In addition to showing that you were not at fault in causing the overpayment, you must show that repayment of the overpayment would deprive you of income needed for ordinary living expenses or that repayment would be unfair for another reason.

Below are details and the form you should fill out for this :

http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1656

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ssa-632.html

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ssa-632.pdf

i have been getting ssi for 5 years now and since i got it ,,its been problems every time i turn around they over pay me then say i have to pay them back and it was there mistake what do i do the first time they over paid me cuz i didnt know i had to report my husband wages no one told me that so that was 3000 something dollars now they take it out of my social sercurity which i only get 186.00 a month it sucks and the other reason they just said i owe almost 8 hundren dollars and i send my husband stubs in every month so that there mistake what do i do i cant get a lawyer to much money what do i do????????????

This would be similar to the comment above.

If you feel that the overpayment amount is incorrect, or that you are not really overpaid, you may file a form SSA-561-U2, Request for Reconsideration. If you agree that you have been overpaid but you feel you should not have to pay it back because you did not cause the overpayment and you cannot afford to refund it or repaying it would be unfair, you should file the form SSA-632-BK, Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery Or Change In Repayment Rate.

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ssa-632.html

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ssa-561.html

my mother received social security disability for me, she was the payee and i was the beneficiary, SSA CLAIMS FOR A PERIOD OF TIME SHE SHOULD NOT have collected this money , Calling it an overpayment They now say i owe the 10,000 dollars and have taken the last two years of my income tax return and have now started to garnish my wages ,can they do this even though i was then a minor, my question is should i have an attorney fill out the appeal applications or do it myself,SSA-561-U2 AND SSA-632-BK

Note that form may be filled out by the claimant, an attorney, or your representative who is not an attorney.

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