Social security payee isn’t returning my money after I became my own payee.

I was declared my own payee in February
of this year. The payee service that
had control of my money previously is
refusing to return my back disability
payments. They have about 9,000 of my
money. Social security doesn’t want to
help. What can I do?

Asked on May 10, 2016 under Business Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue them. Read the terms of service or contract you had with them first: see if under the agreement you entered into, they had the right to keep some or all of this money under these circumstances. If they did, you have to let that amount keep it--the contract terms are enforceable. But to the extent they are keeping money to which they are not contractually entitled, you can sue them for the money. You would sue based on breach of contract (violating the terms of the agreement, by keeping amounts to which they are not contractually entitled) and/or for "conversion," which is a form of theft (illegally keeping money or assets which were entrusted to you for safekeepping, but which are not yours). Suing is, unfortunately, the only way to get money back in a situation like this: there's no agency which will help you, so you'll need to file a lawsuit, either hiring an attorney to do so or, if you want to save on legal costs, acting as your own lawyer ("pro se").

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