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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13326
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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My dad passed away december 2007, i was contacted after he

Customer Question

my dad passed away december 2007, i was contacted after he died by a lawyer that was working on a disibiltiy case for him asking if i wanted to continue i signed a new contract and 4 years after my dad passing he was awarded close to ten years of back pay from social security, that was in 2011. The check came from social security payable to me, Last week a famliy member found out I was awarded the money and now is asking me for money, I do not hav any money I am in banruptcy at this moment. What do I need to do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

What family member?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my brother and sister..
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

OK, here is the issue: When you substituted into your father's case, that did not mean the money is due you. The SSA holds that SS moneys go to surviving spouse, if any. Of course, it seems here that there was no surviving spouse. After that is goes to all children in equal shares. This means that if there were 3 of you, you would have properly gotten 1/3, while your brother and sister got the other 1/3 and 1/3. And, the total dispersable would first have gone to pay legitimate SS noted debts, if any (child support, federal debts or school loans, back alimony, etc.).

So, while you were the custodian of the case and the moneys due your father, they weren't yours per se. Had you been the only child with no surviving spouse, this would have been a non-issue, since no other child would be stepping up wanting his inheritance, but since you were one of 3, it is not where first one to step in takes all - as that would wreak havoc (and probably violence) among siblings.

This is a difficult situation that you will want to speak to your BK attorney about - possibly adding this new debt to the BK, if necessary, to get it discharged (or under the payment plan).

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

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