Hi Zeyn, I see that my colleague has opted out and I think I can assist you, so I am going to try to do that, OK?
My name is***** and I am a social security attorney in my private practice – that is ALL I do. Please let me know that my post here is coming through for you by typing a quick reply.
With regard to your post:
"I'm the divorced father of two minor girls living with their mom. ------ OK, residential day to day care is with mom, visitation to you, although you have joint legal custody.
"I recently received SSI ------- OK, as Doug sought to point out, if you get SSI (Supplemental Security Income) there is no benefit payable to any of your children based on your SSI. SSI is pure unearned welfare.
That is why I must presume, unless you tell me otherwise, that you were a worker, paid social security taxes most of your life, and when you became disabled, you had an insured status for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits. That is my hope. And since an SSA staffer said your children would get auxiliary benefit for their support based on your record, then yes, SSDIB it is.
"and was told my girls could receive SS payments from me. -------- Not "from" you, but an eligibility in their own legal right, based on your disabled status and prior work record.
"Can I control the accounts for the girls or do I have to turn over control to custodial parent/mom? ------ Because you do not care for their day to day survival needs, and the other parent does, short of that other parent being proven unfit to handle their moneys for their needs, she will be the chosen "Representative Payee" for the children. The SSA does it this way because you being far away can not use the money to put food on their table, go to the store for their needs, make sure they have fitting clothing, give them lunch money, sign them up and take them to sports functions, extra curriculars, etc. The money is first to be used for meeting their basic needs. Since there is currently only one parent financially supporting them, since you indicate you weren't ordered to pay child support (which is unusual and may change if you JUST started having income again via SSDIB), then it is possible that things are tight for those little girls. Fortunately, your hard work will help them now (although I am sorry about the disability), so even if you feel you can not pay a bit in support, at least you know you ARE causing them to be supported more than before. And again, since you can't physically be there day to day to use the money for them, you would not make an ideal RP and the SSA will not have your as RP, barring unusual circumstance.
Note that if your ex decides that your new income is enough reason for her to seek child support when she refrained before, you will want to make sure the auxiliary benefits to the kids is put in to the equation. OFten times, the auxiliary payments will be given full credit, and if that amount meets what your state child support guidelines order should be paid on your current disability income, you can potentially not have to pay any additional child support unlike a similarly incomed parent who does not have the auxiliary insurance coverage.
I hope this explains - and feel free to ask for clarification is any thing is unclear.