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09/26/2013 04:56 AM

Don't know where to go from here...any advice?

trixlette
Posts: 1
New Member

My mother is 87 years old. She receives Soc Sec off my father's record as it pays more than hers. She also gets his VA benefits, and then gets a $33 monthly payment from SSI. All totaled she gets $718 per month. When she was 69, in 1995, she purchased a small insurance policy $5,000. Her intention was and still is, is for that money to go towards her funeral expenses after she is gone.

From the time she bought the policy until now, every time she has had a review from Soc Sec, be it on the phone or face to face, she has always told them she had this policy. Now, after a recent review, they wanted information about this policy going back to 2011. How much it had accrued in cash value, on a month by month basis. For one thing mom never, ever took money out of this policy, so she never got any money from it. Secondly, why did they wait 18 years to make a big deal about it, why didn't they say something about it back in 2011 or earlier?

So, then now, they sent her a letter saying that they were taking her $33 payment from her. Not such a big thing, so we decided to leave it alone. When we went to the insurance agent's office to get the month by month rates that the woman at Soc Sec wanted, he suggested that she just take her name off the policy and be done with it. So, me being her daughter, he had her put the policy in my name. Now she no longer needed the month by month thing, because she no longer had a policy. Or so we thought.

Now, she gets a letter saying that she gave away an item of value, and she owes money to Soc Sec. We are like WTH? Over a $5,000 policy that is 18 years old? But wait, it gets better.

She gets another letter today saying she owes thousands of dollars, and they want their money, and they want her to send a check or money order, for all the payments she received since 2011.

Look, the intention of my mother was not to defraud anyone, it was to give us a bit of money for her funeral, because when my father died, and he had no insurance, it was hard on her. This money is not for her at 87 years old to go party on, and live the life of Riley.

Now they are saying that they want to take this money from her regular Soc Sec that she gets off my dad's record. She won't be able to pay her bills or eat.

What is it that we do here? Do I give the policy back to her and try to convert it to a different type of policy that has no monetary value and is designated for funeral expenses? Or will they hit her again, because she RECEIVED an item of value? My mother suggested to turn the policy over to the Soc Sec Admn, and then they might be satisfied that she has nothing to bury herself with. I mean she is very upset and frustrated. This is causing her a lot of anxiety and pain.

Is this all Soc Sec has to do all day is badger elderly people? It's not like she tried to hide a million dollar fortune, we are talking a paltry sum. They act like she just got away with a jewel heist.

And if she had not ever reported this policy I could understand some of it, by my mom is as honest as the day is long, she has never lied to anyone, ever. She has always told them about this policy, it was their department that overlooked it, and never said a word till now.

So, what can we do, if anything?

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09/26/2013 11:21 AM
LostInCyberspace12
LostInCyberspace12  
Posts: 9907
Group Leader

Wow, this seems so crazy. Regardless, why are they even badgering an 87 y/o woman anyway. The money they say she owes them....is it all from accumulated SSI payments she has received? $33 monthly payment from SSI...give me a break! How much money do they say she owes them back in total? Even if they are right, this seems really cruel to me.

Post edited by: LostInCyberspace12, at: 09/26/2013 11:23 AM


09/26/2013 12:08 PM
martireese
 
Posts: 1129
Member

It's called Transfer Of Assets. And, if your Mom also get Medicaid, that will also be affected. I would call SSA and tell them that it will be a hardship on her and see what they suggest. Although, she will probably have to be the one to call. They will take a certain amount of money out of her social security check every month until it is all paid. The info below "may" explain what they are doing and why. But, in her situation nothing really makes sense regarding this. You might want to contact a legal aid lawyer. If SSA has records of where she reported and took in the policy that "may" be something the lawyer can work with. Because it wasn't her fault, it was the fault of SSA that this hasn't been mentioned before now.

Transfers Of Resources-

http://www.ssa.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-transfer- resources.htm

What is a Resource Transfer-

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501150001


09/26/2013 12:40 PM
ElvisPresley
ElvisPresleyPosts: 2885
Group Leader

What I find odd is that SS is giving an 87 year old woman a review.. Do they honestly think a 87 year old woman may be able to return to work?

09/26/2013 12:45 PM
LostInCyberspace12
LostInCyberspace12  
Posts: 9907
Group Leader

With a total income of only $718/month, I don't see how she can afford any kind of legal help unless it is almost free (pro bono). She is barely surviving now. I am sure SS will start subtracting if from her monthly payments unless she can get it waived. This seems almost ludicrous to me.

@ trixlette, how much in total do they say she owes them back. You did not say in your post.I am just curious.


09/26/2013 12:56 PM
LostInCyberspace12
LostInCyberspace12  
Posts: 9907
Group Leader

Sounds like they were reviewing her for the meager $33/month in SSI (income and assets) she was getting. This is almost laughable...almost does not seem quite real to me. This lady (hope not) will probably be dead if they decide to take it back from her in small installments before the total amount she owes them gets paid back unless it is a really small amount. I mean @ 33 bucks a month, that is only $396 per year...LOL! Geez...just leave her alone, let this woman live out the remainder of her life and stop the measly $33 dollars in SSI payments. This is why I am glad I have nothing to do with SSI. I can take my SSDI and spend the money any way I wish and don't have to worry about the PITA financial audits.

Post edited by: LostInCyberspace12, at: 09/26/2013 12:58 PM


09/26/2013 01:34 PM
LostInCyberspace12
LostInCyberspace12  
Posts: 9907
Group Leader

I am only on SSDI. If I stay on SSDI and reach SSNRA, SSDI converts to SSR and the fear of having anymore CDR's ends b/c you are considered retired. I suppose if you reach age 65 for example, are poor, can't work, don't qualify for SSDI and SSI is all you can get, they keep checking on you as long as you live because of all the income and assets rules for SSI. To me, SSI seems aggravating as hell even after getting approved for benefits. After SSDI approval, you have nothing to worry about except future CDR's until you reach full retirement age and it converts.

09/26/2013 02:26 PM
martireese
 
Posts: 1129
Member

I agree it's makes no sense given her age. And having it put back in her name I doubt will change anything. But this is why it's happening. It looks like the main problem came when they transferred the policy to the daughter. It was transferred so her Mom would still be eligible for SII and that is a huge No No. It's valued at over $1,500. It is a life Insurance policy that can be converted to cash. I agree she should try and get it waved, and I hope she is able to. If it were me I would be furious at that insurance agent who suggested transferring it in the first place. The deeply serious nature of transferring of assets for the purpose of becoming/staying eligible for a federal or state government program is serious and a huge Never Do, it was very irresponsible of the insurance person.

Burial Funds-

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-burial- funds.htm

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