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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Default Soc. Security overpaid your dead parent? YOU're responsible

    Unbelievable.

    Treasury target taxpayers for their parents’ decades-old debts
    By Marc Fisher, Published: APRIL 10, 5:32 PM ET

    A few weeks ago, with no notice, the U.S. government intercepted Mary Grice’s tax refunds from both the IRS and the state of Maryland. Grice had no idea that Uncle Sam had seized her money until some days later, when she got a letter saying that her refund had gone to satisfy an old debt to the government — a very old debt.

    When Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them.

    Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family — it’s not sure who — in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. Why the feds chose to take Mary’s money, rather than her surviving siblings’, is a mystery.

    Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who are expecting refunds this month are instead getting letters like the one Grice got, informing them that because of a debt they never knew about — often a debt incurred by their parents — the government has confiscated their check.

    The Treasury Department has intercepted $1.9 billion in tax refunds already this year — $75 million of that on debts delinquent for more than 10 years, said Jeffrey Schramek, assistant commissioner of the department’s debt management service. The aggressive effort to collect old debts started three years ago — the result of a single sentence tucked into the farm bill lifting the 10-year statute of limitations on old debts to Uncle Sam.

    No one seems eager to take credit for reopening all these long-closed cases. A Social Security spokeswoman says the agency didn’t seek the change; ask Treasury. Treasury says it wasn’t us; try Congress. Congressional staffers say the request probably came from the bureaucracy.

    The only explanation the government provides for suddenly going after decades-old debts comes from Social Security spokeswoman Dorothy Clark: “We have an obligation to current and future Social Security beneficiaries to attempt to recoup money that people received when it was not due.”

    Since the drive to collect on very old debts began in 2011, the Treasury Department has collected $424 million in debts that were more than 10 years old. Those debts were owed to many federal agencies, but the one that has many Americans howling this tax season is the Social Security Administration, which has found 400,000 taxpayers who collectively owe $714 million on debts more than 10 years old. The agency expects to have begun proceedings against all of those people by this summer.

    “It was a shock,” said Grice, 58. “What incenses me is the way they went about this. They gave me no notice, they can’t prove that I received any overpayment, and they use intimidation tactics, threatening to report this to the credit bureaus.”

    Grice filed suit against the Social Security Administration in federal court in Greenbelt this week, alleging that the government violated her right to due process by holding her responsible for a $2,996 debt supposedly incurred under her father’s Social Security number.

    Social Security officials told Grice that six people — Grice, her four siblings and her father’s first wife, whom she never knew — had received benefits under her father’s account. The government doesn’t look into exactly who got the overpayment; the policy is to seek compensation from the oldest sibling and work down through the family until the debt is paid.

    ...


    http://m.washingtonpost.com/politics....html?hpid=z1#


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    Last edited by lovemachine97(Version 2); 04.14.14 at 10:29 PM.

  2. #2
    Baluchitherium
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    How about going after the dumbshit government employee that overlooked this, or is it impossible to hold a government employee accountable for anything?
    "Alcoholism, is like, the only disease you can get yelled at for having" - Mitch
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    So ... a captain is responsible for the crew under his command . Parent's are (or should be) responsible for their kids . Okay - makes sense so far . Now , kids have to be responsible for their parents ?

    Wow .
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Punch View Post
    How about going after the dumbshit government employee that overlooked this, or is it impossible to hold a government employee accountable for anything?
    I have a friend who works for California state government in Sacremento. Out of the last 6 years she's worked about 2 for medical reasons. But her problems are not life threatening many are in her head. Her job is always held for her. So to answer your question no they get away with many things that we in the private sector would never get away with because they are a voting block.
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  5. #5
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Punch View Post
    How about going after the dumbshit government employee that overlooked this, or is it impossible to hold a government employee accountable for anything?
    you could fire the person, you couldn't get the money back from that person.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    I just don't even get how someone even thinks this is legal. Your dad dies. His widow gets benefits. She's overpaid by accident. No one knows but the SSA. She dies. They confiscate the oldest child's property—her money—without even having any proof. And what can you do about it? Sue? I guess. But that costs money, maybe more than they took.

    I thought the Obama administration preached charity...? Higher taxes for higher benefits for those in need. A raised minimum wage. Libertarians and conservatives are heartless for wanting fewer, limited benefits and lower taxes.

    Shouldn't the executive branch be hailing the SSA as a beacon of honor, charity, and wealth transfer, not trying to recoup the funds?



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  7. #7
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Would the payment be directly associated with the child? If not then I don't understand how they'd even to think to go after the kid. Or are they going after "the estate" years after. Strange case. Must be more to it.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Default Soc. Security overpaid your dead parent? YOU're responsible

    Here's how I understand it.

    1960: The father dies. Mary Grice is 4, the oldest sibling of five. Her dad's widow, Sadie Grice, collects benefits on her deceased husband's behalf to help raise the children.

    1977: The SSA overpays someone in the Grice family. They've no records to know who received the overpayment—the widow (most likely), Mary, 21, or one of her four siblings, ages 17-21.

    2010: Sadie Grice dies.

    2014: Mary Grice is notified by letter that her tax refund has been confiscated by Treasury to settle the above debt.

    "...[S]ix people — Grice, her four siblings and her father’s first wife, whom she never knew — had received benefits under her father’s account. The government doesn’t look into exactly who got the overpayment; the policy is to seek compensation from the oldest sibling and work down through the family until the debt is paid."

    SSA makes a statement: "We have an obligation to current and future Social Security beneficiaries to attempt to recoup money that people received when it was not due.”


    Seems to me SSA has no proof Mary got the overpayment, but Treasury policy is to take it from her anyway.



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    Last edited by lovemachine97(Version 2); 04.15.14 at 09:18 AM.

  9. #9
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    Here's how I understand it.

    1960: The father dies. Mary Grice is 4, the oldest sibling of five. Her dad's widow, Sadie Grice, collects benefits on her deceased husband's behalf to help raise the children.

    1977: The SSA overpays someone in the Grice family. They've no records to know who received the overpayment—the widow (most likely), Mary, 21, or one of her four siblings, ages 17-21.

    2010: Sadie Grice dies.

    2014: Mary Grice is notified by letter that her tax refund has been confiscated by Treasury to settle the above debt.

    "...[S]ix people — Grice, her four siblings and her father’s first wife, whom she never knew — had received benefits under her father’s account. The government doesn’t look into exactly who got the overpayment; the policy is to seek compensation from the oldest sibling and work down through the family until the debt is paid."

    SSA makes a statement: "We have an obligation to current and future Social Security beneficiaries to attempt to recoup money that people received when it was not due.”


    Seems to me SSA has no proof Mary got the overpayment, but Treasury policy is to take it from her anyway.



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    that's weird stuff. I'd like to think there was some communication with Mary before the tax refund was taken. If not, then this is insane.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Default Soc. Security overpaid your dead parent? YOU're responsible

    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    that's weird stuff. I'd like to think there was some communication with Mary before the tax refund was taken. If not, then this is insane.

    As far as notifying her, the SSA recently sent two notifications to a PO Box she used...from 1977-1979—her "warnings." This is despite the fact that SSA has her current mailing address.

    And this isn't isolated. "In Glenarm, Ill., Brenda and Mike Samonds have spent the past year trying to figure out how to get back the $189.10 tax refund the government seized, claiming that Mike’s mother, who died 33 years ago, had been overpaid on survivor’s benefits after Mike’s father died in 1969."

    After getting nowhere and being on hold for hours at a time, they gave up.

    "...Ted Verbich also concluded it wasn’t worth the time or money to fight for the $172 the government intercepted last month.

    In 1977, Verbich, now 57, was in college at the University of Maryland when he took a full-time job in an accountant’s office. Because he was earning income, he knew he had to give up the survivor’s benefits his mother had received since his father died, when Verbich was 4. But his $70 monthly checks — “They helped with the car payment,” he said — kept coming for a short time after he started work, and Verbich was notified in 1978 that he had to repay about $600. He did.

    Thirty-six years later, with no notice, “they snatched my Maryland tax refund,” said Verbich, a federal worker who has lived at the same address in Glendale, Md,. for 30 years and regularly receives Social Security statements there. The feds insisted that he owed $172 but could provide no documents to back up the claim."

    Of course these scenarios aren't kept separately, only how much has been collected on debts older than 10 years since the law changed, buried in a farm bill. That's over $400 million.

    In order to seek a waiver, the taxpayer must prove that he/she “is without fault, and [that] repayment of the overpayment would deprive the person of income needed for ordinary living expenses.”

    In other words, the burden of proof is on us.



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    Last edited by lovemachine97(Version 2); 04.15.14 at 09:42 AM.

  11. #11
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    real horrible lack of communication on this. Not sure if they are right to withhold (I'm guessing not, but maybe they are) but at the very least they should have been in contact with the people prior.

 

 

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