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Social Security Disability- Non-custodial child? Fraud?

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Social Security Disability- Non-custodial child? Fraud?

Postby biaiardo » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:43 pm

If someone is disabled and receiving social security disability- would their minor child be entitled to a benefit? If that child does not live with them, who would receive the benefit? The custodial parent, or would Social Security issue the payments directly to the child?

I'm asking because my son's deadbeat dad never paid child support (even though the order was only $50/week and never increased) and he worked off the books hiding his income. After a number of years, when the past-due amount was over $10,000 I took him to court for back child support. I couldn't afford a lawyer, but he had legal aid.

He claimed that he was on disability and couldn't work so he he couldn't pay the full amount- but made a partial payment (with some sort of inheritance he had received) which the courts considered payment in full.

At the time I thought that my son should get some sort of benefits from Social Security, but I didn't really know how to follow up. Perhaps if I had ever received welfare, the court would have appointed a lawyer to go after his dad- but I've always just worked hard or borrowed to keep us afloat. His father never showed any interest in our son or asked for visitation, and I lived a few states away, so I just moved on- raising my son on my own- doing the best I could.

Years later, when my son was a teenager, my parents and I agreed he'd be better off living with them to finish high school. We never formalized a custody agreement. According to the school, I was the sole parent, and I still paid for his living expenses and made the major (educational, health ect) decisions- but my parents were the responsible adults in his life and he lived in their home. In some years, my parents claimed my son as a dependent on their taxes, in other years I did- depending on who provided the most support on a given year.

At some point, my son started having a lot of spending cash- and I found a few letters from social security. Neither my parents nor I ever knew how this happened or how much money was involved or where it actually went. My son was very secretive about anything to do with his father, and I couldn't really follow up- being a few states away. I was a bit frustrated with my parents for not getting to the bottom of this- because an adult should have really been managing these funds. If my son had been issued benefits, they shouldn't have been a teenager's spending cash- and I wasn't even sure if my son was receiving the total amount or if his biological father was keeping it and throwing my son a few dollars here and there.

Would Social Security have issued payments directly to a minor? Or is it more likely that my son's father claimed that he was the custodial parent? It's a shame that all this money might have been pissed away by a 16-year-old, or kept by his father who never supported him- even minimally. My parents and I have never had much money, but we've always worked really hard to make ends meet.

Is this fraud? Or does Social Security just send money to teenagers directly?
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Social Security Disability- Non-custodial child? Fraud?

Postby beinish » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:48 pm

Social security for child of disabled parent is never sent to the child. The check goes to the parent having custody, regardless of which parent is disabled.
The father may have failed to say that he did not have custody.
My ex had this situation. Checks went to his ex wife, since she had custody.
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Social Security Disability- Non-custodial child? Fraud?

Postby finian » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:52 pm

No, social security does not issue payment directly to a minor. My kids get a monthly check that is in their and their mother's name. I have no idea if it is fraud or something else.
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Social Security Disability- Non-custodial child? Fraud?

Postby avidan » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:59 pm

Geez, no good deed goes unpunished. Kudos to you for all your hard work.
Here is the link to report fraud with regard to Social Security:

It certainly sounds as if your suspicions could be right - if your son's father was obtaining payments as a result of faulty information, it sounds as if he could have been using it as a fund so he could buy someone's affections. No doubt the OIG would be interested to hear that. I just hope they wouldn't put you or your parents in the position of having to cover making restitution, if your son is still a minor.
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