If my wife’s now deceased dad overdrew Social Security when she was a minor, can SSA legally insist that my wife is liable for repayment?

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If my wife’s now deceased dad overdrew Social Security when she was a minor, can SSA legally insist that my wife is liable for repayment?

Shortly after my wife and I got married in 2009 (while I was deployed to Afghanistan) she received a letter from the Social Security Administration saying she owed them over $18,000. She has appealed it but they insist that she has to pay it. It turns out that when my wife was a minor her dad overdrew social security (I am unsure exactly how he did it). She was unaware. He passed away in 2007. They are saying she owes SSA for what her father did. She is going to court next month to fight it. What can she do?

Asked on January 25, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Alaska

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  Your Father in Law some how managed to commit some form of fraud against social security but under your wife's social security number. I really think that you need to know what the specifics of the matter are here (you state that you are unsure exactly how he achieved this when she was younger) in order to be able to determine the oath that you need to take to fight it.  If she was a child and had no ability to fill out paperwork and make claims then she may be able to find a way out of this mess.  Seek legal help here.  Good luck.


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