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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13283
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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A MINOR GRAND CHILD WAS IN MY CARE UNTIL MY DAUGHTER PASSED

Customer Question

A MINOR GRAND CHILD WAS IN MY CARE UNTIL MY DAUGHTER PASSED AWAY, MY DAUGHTERS X HUSBAND ASSUMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT CHILD THAT IS A TEENAGER. WE APPLIED FOR SOCIAL SECURITY FOR THAT CHILD IN MY DAUGHTERS BEHALF. HE RECEIVES ABOUT $500 PER MONTH. BUT HIS FATHER TOLD HIM, BECAUSE I PAID CHILD SUPPORT FOR SO LONG THIS MONEY BELONGS TO ME. HE GIVES THE CHILD $20 A WEEK AND TOLD HIM THAT IS ALL HE DESERVES AND USES THE REST FOR HIS OWN PERSONAL USE. HE REFUSES TO EVEN GIVE THE CHILD LUNCH MONEY. RARELY HAS ANY FOOD IN THE HOUSE, SUPPLIES HIM WITH NOTHING ELSE OTHER THAN A PLACE TO SLEEP. CAN HE DO THIS WITH A SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK MAD OUT TO MY GRANDCHILD.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

Good afternoon, with regard to your post:

"A MINOR GRAND CHILD WAS IN MY CARE UNTIL MY DAUGHTER PASSED AWAY, ------- I am very sorry for your loss.

MY DAUGHTERS X HUSBAND ASSUMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT CHILD THAT IS A TEENAGER. ----- OK, sounds weird since he could have done that before mom passed, when you had custody from mom.

"WE APPLIED FOR SOCIAL SECURITY FOR THAT CHILD IN MY DAUGHTERS BEHALF. HE RECEIVES ABOUT $500 PER MONTH. ---- OK.

"BUT HIS FATHER TOLD HIM, BECAUSE I PAID CHILD SUPPORT FOR SO LONG THIS MONEY BELONGS TO ME. -------- That is not true. However, he is likely the RP (representative payee) to handle the money for the minor, who is generally considered not competent to do so. As such, all must be used for child's needs. However, that DOES include food, rent, utilities share, clothing, etc. So clearly $500 goes fast.

HE GIVES THE CHILD $20 A WEEK AND TOLD HIM THAT IS ALL HE DESERVES AND USES THE REST FOR HIS OWN PERSONAL USE. ------ If it is for HIS part of the rent/food, it is not permitted. But since the child also has rent/food needs, and that is what SS auxiliary dependent benefits are for, it can be used for that.....

HE REFUSES TO EVEN GIVE THE CHILD LUNCH MONEY. --------- If you are saying the child goes without food, this is a matter that you need to address with child protective services. If he is engaging in negligence to the detriment of the child's welfare, the child may have to be removed.

"RARELY HAS ANY FOOD IN THE HOUSE, SUPPLIES HIM WITH NOTHING ELSE OTHER THAN A PLACE TO SLEEP. CAN HE DO THIS WITH A SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK MAD OUT TO MY GRANDCHILD." ---------- See above. No, he can't spend the money on himself and he must spend it on the child's basic needs that are not otherwise met. And it is very possible that all $500 would go to needs via the rent and such that I noted above. BUT, if the parent, from a family / custody law perspective is unwilling or unable to properly care for the child and the child's basic needs are not being met, then that is an issue of changing custody. If the child were to return back to you, you would be the RP (or become it), and you could also file for child support from the father, and the child would also have the SS, which you'd use on his behalf, either basic survival OR, if you could and wanted to swing it, support him without and just use his SS to build a savings or college fund for him, or spend it on camp or sports or other healthy recreational activities.

It may be hard to prove dad is spending it "on himself" - but you can take the possible route of negligence and custody change so that it shows regardless of the SS and what he is spending IT on, he is unfit (if that is the case). If you can, consult with a custody lawyer.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

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Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

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