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Financial Planning / Social Security Reform


Subject:  Lost Social Security check -- what to do now? Date:  4/13/2009  11:33 PM
Author:  math999man Number:  5218 of 5269

This past January when I was talking with my mother, she had informed me that she had not received her January Social Security check. She asked another senior citizen if they had received theirs and they informed my mother that sometimes the government will send two checks in one month versus one check for each month. Later I checked the Social Security website and found out that this information was incorrect and my mother should have received her Social Security check on January 3.

She waited all of January to receive the check before visiting the local Social Security office in February. The Social Security representative listened to my mother and informed her that another check would be put in the mail and sent directly off to her. Sure enough a few weeks later she received another check, to make up for the one that was missing in January.

My mother then received a letter from the government stating that they had overpaid her one check. Apparently the government did not receive proper notification that the second check sent out in February was to replace the January check. What makes this more complex is that my mother is mis-remembering the month in which the check was lost. My mother thinks it was the February check that is missing, where's I know for 100% assurance that it is the January check that was missing. The reason I know it was the January check is because in January I downloaded the direct deposit form from the Social Security website to pass on to my mother to fill out. But she's insisting that it was the February check that was missing. This letter from the government said that they had reached a decision to withhold the check on June 3 as compensation for overpayment of two checks. My mother went to the Social Security office a second time to explain that the second check in February was to replace a lost one, but they were of no help. The Social Security office just insisted that my mother take a waiver form and fill it out to claim to the government that if she does not keep the replacement check she will not be able to afford food to eat. I have not seen this waiver form but I strongly suspect that it is a claim of extreme hardship that a person is in dire need of all the Social Security checks they have received. Not that my mother should cavalierly give up the Social Security check that was a replacement of the missing one, but she does not feel like filling out this waiver form is truly honest in her particular situation since she is not in any dire need or life or death situation where the second replacement check is needed to that degree.

Even after this second visit to the Social Security office, they still have not acknowledged that one check was missing. As a sidenote, at an earlier visit to the Social Security office they told my mother that they were going to send two checks and asked her to compare the signatures on the checks. It's been an extremely long time since they informed my mother of this but yet she has not received any copies of signed checks to compare signatures.

Can I ask anyone out there, if your Social Security check was ever lost and you'll share your experience or what the procedure was to get a replacement check? Or did you have difficulty as my mother seems to be having in that the government is not recognizing the fact that one check did not arrive at her house.

The good news is, after 20 years of me insisting that my mother use direct deposit, she has finally signed up for direct deposit with one of the banks she deals with. I'm a little bit frustrated because I have continually insisted that for safety she utilize direct deposit. Previously I used to get the same answer all the time, NO.

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