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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13388
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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I started SS benefits on 08/01/2015. At that time I had one

Customer Question

I started SS benefits on 08/01/2015. At that time I had one child under 18 left at home. We got $1015.00 for nine months for that child until May 2016 when he turned 18. The SSN administration said this money was for raising the minor child, his expenses. Ok, we managed to cover his expenses of raising him, and even managed to save some to buy him a cheap car, and help pay for some of his expenses so he could start College in the fall, which he has already signed up for. I just got a letter from SSN asking for us to return any money we might have saved or invested these funds. We are very poor, how can this be? We have not yet purchased the used car, and do not know what to do. Will the SSN administration let us use the extra money we strived so hard to save to help him to get a car, to get back and forth to school to further his education, or can they really somehow force us to repay these funds? I am worried sick that they will penalize my SSN funds to pay back whatever they deemed "Leftover" funds, and if that is the case, we will lose our home since our family lives on this income. Please try to help me understand what are my options, and what I should do.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.
Hi, my name is***** and I am here to assist you. 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.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.
With regard to your post, please do NOT worry: "I started SS benefits on 08/01/2015. At that time I had one child under 18 left at home. We got $1015.00 for nine months for that child until May 2016 when he turned 18. The SSN administration said this money was for raising the minor child, his expenses. ---- Yes, if you need it for his survival/basic needs, you can use it for that.Otherwise, you use it for his interests (clubs/sports, etc) or you save it."Ok, we managed to cover his expenses of raising him, and even managed to save some to buy him a cheap car, and help pay for some of his expenses so he could start College in the fall, which he has already signed up for. ------ OK, sounds good. "I just got a letter from SSN asking for us to return any money we might have saved or invested these funds. ---- Yes, the point of this is that he is an adult and the money is his, not yours, and you are no longer a needed representative payee to control his money, since he is an adult. "We are very poor, how can this be? ----- No worries, they just want to make sure are not keeping it for yourself. "We have not yet purchased the used car, and do not know what to do. Will the SSN administration let us use the extra money we strived so hard to save to help him to get a car, to get back and forth to school to further his education, or can they really somehow force us to repay these funds? ------ You can send what you saved back to the SSA, so they can then send it for your son. Or, you can soon buy the car and pay the school and say there is none left. I am worried sick that they will penalize my SSN funds to pay back whatever they deemed "Leftover" funds, and if that is the case, we will lose our home since our family lives on this income. ------ If you are very concerned, just send it back so they can then send it to your son. Or, use it for him, document that use, (keep receipts) and tell them there is nothing left. Please try to help me understand what are my options, and what I should do. ----- See above.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Stephanie, I just got an alert, but cannot find an answer to my question anywhere?
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.
See above, I think we posted simultaneously.! I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gottenanything less, please reply back, I amhappy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent"when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To ***** Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it. Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.Your online SS legal resource!
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Well Stephanie, we did save some for the expense I told you about, but do I just disregard the letter, or do I have to call them and explain everything? I know the money was for his survival and expenses, or for hobbies, or to even save, but why did I get this letter, how to I proceed to move forward?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Stephanie, I am still confused, is it a certainty if we send it back, how do we know that they will even send it back to them? We are definitely not keeping this money for our family, we have even transferred it to his savings account, and are in the process of helping to find transportation for him, to be in his name. Do we just disregard the letter? Will they follow up? I mean I am going to have to contact SSN I guess, I was just not sure what to say or do so I will not jepordize the money we all strived to save for him.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
You are not going to answer any follow up questions, or do I have to pay again for any more questions?
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.
No, I take follow up, I am just not receiving any alerts for some reason! Be right back, let me read what you posted
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.
OK, so here is the rule:https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200603055 And you can discuss with the the SSA if you want to make sure there are no issues - as noted below. You have already "given" it to him if it is in HIS savings account, but assuming he is a cooperative son, I don't see any issues. "SSA may permit a former payee to transfer conserved funds directly to a new payee or to a capable beneficiary rather than returning them to SSA if it serves the best interest of the beneficiary. SSA will allow such transfers on a case-by-case basis. For guidelines in determining when a direct transfer of conserved funds may be in the best interest of a beneficiary, see GN 00603.055C.AND:"C. Guidelines for determining best interestUse the following examples as guidelines to determine if a direct transfer is in the best interest of a beneficiary:1. Custodial parent former payeeA mother with custody serves as payee for her son. She reports that he is capable of managing his money and will be living alone. They visit the field office and the beneficiary applies to be his or her own payee. The mother wants to give the conserved funds directly to the beneficiary to pay for the deposit on the apartment and for utilities. The beneficiary needs the direct transfer as soon as possible so that he does not lose the apartment to another renter. Direct transfer to the beneficiary may serve the beneficiary’s best interest." https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200603055#c
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.
Urgent! There is just one more step needed, so thank you for finishing up! Hello again. It is month end for my little office - Please, if you haven't yet had the opportunity to do eitherof the items below, I ask that you do so now, because it is the only way I can receive credit for time spent with you. Please:1) Follow up if clarification is needed on our above interaction/Q&A, OR2) Rate me highly if we are finished for the time being. If there's more I can do, please use the reply tab and let me know how I can be of further assistance. It's my goal to provide you with excellent service- to make sure I answered the question you asked about. Please rate me highly and provide me with feedback. And thanks for understanding how we receive credit from the Site for contributing our time here! Sincerely,Stephanie O. Joy, Esq. – Your Online Legal Professional