Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

SSDI just approved; now what? Pennsylvania

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • SSDI just approved; now what? Pennsylvania

    Just 5 days ago I was approved for SSDI. 2 days ago I received notification of benefits. Today, the lump sum was deposited into my checking account.

    I am in arrears for approximately $21,000. Apparently there was no judgment to intercept the lump sum and I'm wondering what legal liability I may have regarding surrendering some or all of that lump sum toward my arrears.

    I know that my monthly SSDI will soon be garnished at 65%, and that this percentage includes a portion that goes toward my arrears. I have no problem with the support aspect of this garnishment but I do have difficulty understanding why it's ok to take a non-custodial parent down to poverty level in the effort to obtain support (hence, the DiscouragedDad handle).

    Since the lump sum wasn't intercepted, I don't know where i stand on the matter of withdrawing it; can I do that legally? What I really want to do is split it 50/50 with my children's mother so that both she and I will get a boost from the lump sum payment. But, I'm afraid if I take half out and leave half to be 'taken' by the system, I may be getting myself into some legal hot water.

    I think the 50/50 split is a fair thing to do. I'm not a deadbeat, I'm just broke, living at poverty level for years now, and looking for a little relief while at the same time continuing to support my children.

    Also, I'm wondering if Pennsylvania laws allow the children's SSDI benefits to count toward child support or not (this seems to vary by state).

    We all live in Pennsylvania, just in different counties.

    Thanks in advance for all replies.
    ps- edited to mention we're separated, not divorced (separated about 5-6 years now) and have maintained our separate residences for as long.
    Last edited by DiscouragedDad; 10-16-2009, 05:36 PM.

  • #2
    This thread might be of interest to you.

    I'm not familiar enough with SSDI to answer your question, but hang on and someone else will be along. I do know that if you just hand over a portion of the lump sum to your ex without it going through the child support agency, the courts could rule it a gift to your ex and not count it toward your arrears. Don't do that!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, Caryn.

      I checked out the thread you linked to and it does have some insights into some aspects of my situation.

      I do hope someone else here as a more definitive answer to the specifics of my situation, though. I have to make a decision about all this by Monday afternoon or risk being 'out of compliance' in telling both welfare and child-support agency about my change in situation.

      The last thing I want to do is complicate things any more than they already seem to be.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DiscouragedDad View Post
        Thanks, Caryn.

        I checked out the thread you linked to and it does have some insights into some aspects of my situation.

        I do hope someone else here as a more definitive answer to the specifics of my situation, though. I have to make a decision about all this by Monday afternoon or risk being 'out of compliance' in telling both welfare and child-support agency about my change in situation.

        The last thing I want to do is complicate things any more than they already seem to be.
        You should notify the CSE first thing in the AM. I believe that they would have been able to intercept only 50% of that money anyway, so go ahead and pay the 50% but make sure it is done through the CSE, otherwise you won't get credited.

        It won't hurt for you to take the rest of the money out of your account for awhile, just in case the CSE tries to levy your bank account.
        Has a modification been done reflecting your new income?
        If not, you'll need to file for a modification so that the order will reflect your new income and reflect the benefits that your child will be recieving from SS.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by xena View Post
          You should notify the CSE first thing in the AM. I believe that they would have been able to intercept only 50% of that money anyway, so go ahead and pay the 50% but make sure it is done through the CSE, otherwise you won't get credited.

          It won't hurt for you to take the rest of the money out of your account for awhile, just in case the CSE tries to levy your bank account.
          Has a modification been done reflecting your new income?
          If not, you'll need to file for a modification so that the order will reflect your new income and reflect the benefits that your child will be recieving from SS.
          I did notify CSE (falls under "Domestic Relations" here) the morning that you advised, and told her I was approved for SSD and requested a modification order/hearing.. An operator took down all the information and said she's pass it on to the 'officer'.

          I also found out from SS that each of my 3 children will be entitled to $300 per month. I mentioned that to the CSE as well and asked her if the children's benefits will count as credit toward my support order. She said yes.

          I hope you're right about the 50% because I also told the operator that I'd done exactly that: I figured a 50/50 split was fair to all parties so I left 50% in the bank for them to take toward the arrears.

          Thanks for all the information and insight; much appreciated!

          Comment


          • #6
            Unless I am mistaken, an amount for 1/2 of your SSDI back pay should have been disbursed to your children. A Judge will possibly look at your income, and adjust the amount of your support to equal the amount of their award. (that is not a given, but should be brought up in court.)

            Note. As each child turns 18, or graduated from high school, (Which ever is later) the amount awarded to them is disbursed to the younger children, until one child is receiving the entire $900.00
            Last edited by GotSmart; 10-22-2009, 06:15 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by GotSmart View Post
              Unless I am mistaken, an amount for 1/2 of your SSDI back pay should have been disbursed to your children. A Judge will possibly look at your income, and adjust the amount of your support to equal the amount of their award. (that is not a given, but should be brought up in court.)

              Note. As each child turns 18, or graduated from high school, (Which ever is later) the amount awarded to them is disbursed to the younger children, until one child is receiving the entire $900.00
              One interesting point that I was reminded of just a couple days ago by the CSE folks: when I went on public assistance, they closed my case without prejudice so that if my income were to change, a new order could be requested by the custodial parent (their mother).

              My SSDI was approved and my lump sum disbursed while it was the case that there was no order at the time of the approval or disbursement. In fact, as of yesterday, they have been unable to contact their mother to advise her to request that the support order be re-opened.

              Now I'm not trying to 'play' the system this way but I am curious if this fact has any bearing on the opinions offered so far.

              Thanks again to everyone who's answered so far.

              Comment


              • #8
                Without all the paperwork there is no way anyone can make any kind of evaluation.

                We are not allowed on this site to give more than our opinions. which comes from experience, and in some cases is better than what you pay for. The fact remains that it is free and worth every penny.

                Do you have contact with your children? Then you have contact with the mother. She can be served when you exchange the children.

                I ended up with my children, as the mother abandoned them in my custody. She left the state in 2004 (on vacation) and has not been back.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by xena View Post
                  You should notify the CSE first thing in the AM. I believe that they would have been able to intercept only 50% of that money anyway, so go ahead and pay the 50% but make sure it is done through the CSE, otherwise you won't get credited.

                  It won't hurt for you to take the rest of the money out of your account for awhile, just in case the CSE tries to levy your bank account.
                  Has a modification been done reflecting your new income?
                  If not, you'll need to file for a modification so that the order will reflect your new income and reflect the benefits that your child will be recieving from SS.
                  This morning I called CSE for an update on my case. They told me that they contacted my wife on Oct. 27th and informed her that she could file for SS benefits for the children and that she can file the paperwork to reopen the support order.

                  I asked if any of these actions were taken or in progress and was told that my wife has taken no action since being notified on Oct. 27th.

                  Just a week ago I moved out of state. Previous to this move I was living in a welfare tenement building located in the state where she resides. That state has harsh winters and I was only there because I got stuck there during my homeless period. I'm not a cold weather person so I moved to a warmer climate as soon as I got my SSDI award.

                  For the record, I am *not* trying to evade 'the system' by moving. I called CSE as soon as I got a permanent address, gave them new address, etc. If anything, I'm doing my best to be proactive, transparent, etc. Frankly, I'm confused about why she hasn't taken any action in the past 2 weeks.

                  Anyone have any speculation about what's going on here? My wife has never been shy nor lax in taking action in the past when the outcome was to her benefit. Also, any opinions about whether this passing of time and her inaction has any effect on my situation?

                  I have no contact with either her or the children (their doing, not mine) so I have no way to inquire from her directly.

                  Thanks in advance for all opinions.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am smart enough to not try to figure out the mind of a woman.

                    Good luck, and keep in contact with your children.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GotSmart View Post
                      ...keep in contact with your children.
                      If only... they've been alienated and don't pickup when I phone... never return calls... don't answer letters or cards, etc. But that's another subject for another thread.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DiscouragedDad View Post
                        This morning I called CSE for an update on my case. They told me that they contacted my wife on Oct. 27th and informed her that she could file for SS benefits for the children and that she can file the paperwork to reopen the support order.

                        I asked if any of these actions were taken or in progress and was told that my wife has taken no action since being notified on Oct. 27th.

                        Just a week ago I moved out of state. Previous to this move I was living in a welfare tenement building located in the state where she resides. That state has harsh winters and I was only there because I got stuck there during my homeless period. I'm not a cold weather person so I moved to a warmer climate as soon as I got my SSDI award.

                        For the record, I am *not* trying to evade 'the system' by moving. I called CSE as soon as I got a permanent address, gave them new address, etc. If anything, I'm doing my best to be proactive, transparent, etc. Frankly, I'm confused about why she hasn't taken any action in the past 2 weeks.

                        Anyone have any speculation about what's going on here? My wife has never been shy nor lax in taking action in the past when the outcome was to her benefit. Also, any opinions about whether this passing of time and her inaction has any effect on my situation?

                        I have no contact with either her or the children (their doing, not mine) so I have no way to inquire from her directly.

                        Thanks in advance for all opinions.
                        Have you spoken to the SSA about you filing for your childrens' benefits?
                        It might be possible for you to get the paperwork started and the SSA can send the paperwork to your wife.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is there court ordered visitation?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by xena View Post
                            Have you spoken to the SSA about you filing for your childrens' benefits?
                            It might be possible for you to get the paperwork started and the SSA can send the paperwork to your wife.
                            I did speak to them about me initiating the filing and they told me that because the children's mom would be receiving the benefits on behalf of the children, only she can initiate the process.

                            So much of this feels like leaping through hoops when, in reality, it seems so much simpler than all this... bureaucracy. *sigh

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GotSmart View Post
                              Is there court ordered visitation?
                              No, there isn't any court ordered visitation. And with the level of animosity toward me from all concerned, pushing the issue would--in my opinion--only add fuel to the fire.

                              Many people have encouraged me to file anyway. I've considered it but ultimately feel that, in my particular circumstances, it would do more harm than good. It breaks my heart not to see them, that's for sure. But a court-ordered visitation, when they don't want anything to do with me, just doesn't seem like the best action to take for all concerned.

                              Sad but true.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X