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My Husband was approved for RETRO disability payments from Sept. thur december. We found out he was approved and payment was coming about 1 week before he died. I recivied the payment about 2 weeks after he died. I just got a notice from SS saying they are taking it all back because he was deceased at the time of payment. CAN THEY DO THAT!? I was so shocked when I opened that letter. I had even contacted ss after he died to advise them so they would not start the monthly payments and was told at that time we did not have to send any of the previous payment back. I am so frustrated! Any sugggestions?



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Cathy, These things are always touchy.It is my understanding that ss disability is something we are entitled to as we pay into it all our working life.

Seems to me anything paid up to date of death would be kept,and anything payed after would be given back.Meaning as in calender days.??

Sorry your having this un needed hassle,but I really feel you should fight this.IMO it's your money.

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You may want to speak to an attorney, an estate attorney. Seems to me if it was "retro" payments, it is money owed to your husband's estate... But, I am NOT an attorney, and anything that makes sense surely isn't the way the government would do it.

Someone up on the law that deals with settling estates may be able to help you squeeze out money that IS yours, but isn't if you surrender it....

Just a thought,


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Social Security can be a pain in the A** sometimes. I have dealt with them for about 22 yrs now as my first child was born legally blind which qualified him for SSI disablity which is very different than social security diability even though it all comes from the same place. SSI is money the government pays you regardless of if you have paid into scial secutiry and is based on income. Also my husband died 8 yrs ago and my daughter recieves social security from money her dad had paid in, and recieve widows benifits from the same.

The reason I tell you all this is that i have dealt with them in just about every situation imaginable. If it is SSI then you proboably will have to pay it back. If it is social security then i cannot imagine you would have too. First thing is appeal this decision it should tell you what to do on the letter. If you have spent the money and they insist you owe it, you can pay them back and not have to pay it all at once. I have been overpaid so many times its not even funny and they always ask for it all and i tell them i dont have it so they give me a payment plan, sometimes as little as 10.00 a month if that is what i can afford.

I still cannot think of a situation even if it was SSI that you should have to repay it. It is retroactive and he had bills during that time. There was a time once when i went to school that i had applied for a pell grant fr finacial aid and it came in after the semester ended and they would not give it to me. But that was a student loan, but the government nonetheless.

Good luck and if i can answer any questions just pm me


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Leave it to the federal govt to mess with you when your at your lowest anyway.

I had my social security disability call and I told them by the time they decided that they agreed with my doctors and sent me a check I would be dead. Poor girl didn't know what to say!


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here in richmond we have an organization called LINC (www.cancerlinc.org I think) which stands for legal information network cancer, a pro bono legal aid type thing that helps cancer victims solely with the business and legal side of cancer. they would be the perfect folks to help with this. however I think it's only local to Richmond. you might check out their website and see if they have links to other organizations in your area that might help. I've been keeping them in mind in case we have some sort of legal problem like that. one of the members of the board of directors works in my company, just a floor below me. Sarah Jessica Parker's mother's best friend (or something like that) is the founder so SJP is on the board of directors and comes to town every now and then for a fundraiser.

good luck. what a mess.


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I have a similar situation.

I have some info if this was a disability check. In my case - we had direct deposit. Our bank, knowing my husband was deceased, rejected the deposit, I never got it. Then Social Security sent me a letter saying yes, they realize they owe us a month, fill out this form. I did, sending a copy of our marriage license and the death certificate, and now I am waiting. Everyone I talk to says this is the way it is, after a long while they will send me a check for the month they owe his estate.

I didn't get it yet but it should be any time. I am not too worried yet, as every other agency - the VA, pensions, are sort of doing the same routine and they are all slow as well. The VA one, same situation, they owed me a month, I just got a letter saying they agree that they owe me the month and are sending it next month ...

SSD pays a month behind, so yes indeed, his estate is entitled to that check if he lived past the first. My guess is - someone screwed up by sending and/or delivering that check after the death date. So - easiest for them - is if you pay it back and then file for them to pay you back. That straightens out their paperwork. It also guarentees for them that they knew who got the check, his wife, not some person who picks up the mail. But it is ridiculous - you pay them back, then they pay you back the same money. It is the same money, the difference is, they paid the wrong person that last month, they paid him after his death, instead of you, after you filed all the paperwork and waited a long time. I am not sure they can force you to cooperate ... I would visit the nearest office and ask for a supervisor - maybe tell them you don't have the money available to pay them back.

By the way, did you call in to request the $255 lump sum death benefit? I was told the funeral director couldn't do that for you. Just call the number, check on it. I did - uncomplicated - and the check came within 2 weeks for that.


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Thanks Everyone for your replies. You guys are very helpful and I appreciate your time. I feel like it is a screw up on SSD part but nevertheless, I have to fight AGAiN for what is mine and I am so tired of doing that!! That letter was the straw that broke the camels back! I had been holding it together for the past three months and I just crashed, after reading it. I had called SSdisability after my husband died and was told at that time I did not have to pay any of it back. What I think started this letter is that I called to find out if I had to pay taxes on in and what was the date it was diret depostied in my account. I talked with a very nasty women. 2 weeks later I get this letter. Since it was direct deposited they are just taking it out of my account. or as they put it "a freeze on my account for the amount of the payment".

Karen, I live in Ruther glen which is about 30 miles north of richmond, I will check out that legal aid If I can find the strength to do it.


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