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Abused by department of shild support services

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  • Abused by department of shild support services

    I feel like I'm trapped in an episode of the twilight zone - please help me! The local office of family support has forced me to overpay my court ordered child support obligation by many thousands of dollars. I'm on SSDI and my ex-wife gets a monthly check for $403 from the SSA. $92 is also withheld from my SSDI check and is sent to the local child support office, which then sends a check for that amount to my ex. My support obligation is only $250, but my ex receives a total of $495. At one time, I was in arrears and I was forced to pay at least $4,000 more than I actually owed in principal and interest!

    This is going to be a long post so I'll skip a lot of the details but in order to explain how I got into this situation, I have to start at the beginning.

    In 1998 I took a 30 day medical leave due to work related stress. When my leave expired, my employer refused my return and my doctor mysteriously bacame "uavailable for consultation." When I finaly got an apointment to see him (2 months later), he refused to extend my state disability claim. I explained my situation to the local SDI office, but the staff refused to refer me to another doctor to certify that I was disabled and I was denied SDI even though I was unable to work. I was denied unemployment benefits because I was too ill to work.

    I applied to every county or state agency I knew of for assistence, but was found ineligable. I survived for the next two years by selling everything I'd ever worked for. During this time, my child support obligation went unpaid. I'm not stupid - I went to the local family support office the day after my medical leave expired, and requested a modification of my support obligation because I was unable to work and had no income. I actually got an appointment with my support officer, but when I went to it, I was told that "she called in sick today". I made numerous requests but never got another appointment, and my support order was and never has been modified.

    When I exhausted all my resources, I applied for SSDI. And to my amazement, my application was approved. The day after I found out I was to receive SSDI, my child support officer called and told me the SSA was going to withhold $158 from my monthly check and that I would have pay the other $92 to her office. She refused to tell me why the total amount wasn't withheld from my check, and the local social security office refused to tell me anything at all.

    I was never told that my child was receiving auxiliary income from my social security account. I found this out last week when I called the SSA ask a question that had nothing to do with my child. In the course of the conversation, I learned that not only was my ex receiving a monthly check, at the time I started receiving SSDI, she got a check for 12 months back-pay.

    When I received my first SS check, I owed a total of $6,352 in principal and interest, which I paid in full. I don't know the exact amount, but I estimate that my ex received at least $4,000 in back pay. If this amount and the current monthly benefit is supposed to be credited to my support obligation, I paid at least $5,000 more than my obligation.

    I can't afford to hire an attorney. And besides, I paid for "legal advice" regarding child support in the past - it was a waste of money because I've since learned that everything the lawyer told me, was a lie. About ten months after I stopped working, I was summoned to a debtor's examination. When I explained my situation to the judge, he told me my hearing had been "cancelled" and the DA "must have forgoten to notify" me. I live in California and I don't know how things are done in other parts of the state, but in this county, the California civil code is simply ignored. I had a legal right to state disability and a right to have my support order modified. I also have a right to a "state hearing" to review my child support case. But I've learned that just because I know my "rights" and how the law is supposed work, that doesn't mean I'm going to get any justice. Do I have a real chance to recover the amount I've overpaid and stop the garnishment of my check?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by rod_serling; 03-25-2006, 04:41 PM. Reason: Typos and omissions

  • #2
    Originally posted by rod_serling
    I feel like I'm trapped in an episode of the twilight zone - please help me! The local office of family support has forced me to overpay my court ordered child support obligation by many thousands of dollars. I'm on SSDI and my ex-wife gets a monthly check for $403 from the SSA. $92 is also withheld from my SSDI check and is sent to the local child support office, which then sends a check for that amount to my ex. My support obligation is only $250, but my ex receives a total of $495. At one time, I was in arrears and I was forced to pay at least $4,000 more than I actually owed in principal and interest!

    This is going to be a long post so I'll skip a lot of the details but in order to explain how I got into this situation, I have to start at the beginning.

    In 1998 I took a 30 day medical leave due to work related stress. When my leave expired, my employer refused my return and my doctor mysteriously bacame "uavailable for consultation." When I finaly got an apointment to see him (2 months later), he refused to extend my state disability claim. I explained my situation to the local SDI office, but the staff refused to refer me to another doctor to certify that I was disabled and I was denied SDI even though I was unable to work. I was denied unemployment benefits because I was too ill to work.

    I applied to every county or state agency I knew of for assistence, but was found ineligable. I survived for the next two years by selling everything I'd ever worked for. During this time, my child support obligation went unpaid. I'm not stupid - I went to the local family support office the day after my medical leave expired, and requested a modification of my support obligation because I was unable to work and had no income. I actually got an appointment with my support officer, but when I went to it, I was told that "she called in sick today". I made numerous requests but never got another appointment, and my support order was and never has been modified.

    When I exhausted all my resources, I applied for SSDI. And to my amazement, my application was approved. The day after I found out I was to receive SSDI, my child support officer called and told me the SSA was going to withhold $158 from my monthly check and that I would have pay the other $92 to her office. She refused to tell me why the total amount wasn't withheld from my check, and the local social security office refused to tell me anything at all.

    I was never told that my child was receiving auxiliary income from my social security account. I found this out last week when I called the SSA ask a question that had nothing to do with my child. In the course of the conversation, I learned that not only was my ex receiving a monthly check, at the time I started receiving SSDI, she got a check for 12 months back-pay.

    When I received my first SS check, I owed a total of $6,352 in principal and interest, which I paid in full. I don't know the exact amount, but I estimate that my ex received at least $4,000 in back pay. If this amount and the current monthly benefit is supposed to be credited to my support obligation, I paid at least $5,000 more than my obligation.

    I can't afford to hire an attorney. And besides, I paid for "legal advice" regarding child support in the past - it was a waste of money because I've since learned that everything the lawyer told me, was a lie. About ten months after I stopped working, I was summoned to a debtor's examination. When I explained my situation to the judge, he told me my hearing had been "cancelled" and the DA "must have forgoten to notify" me. I live in California and I don't know how things are done in other parts of the state, but in this county, the California civil code is simply ignored. I had a legal right to state disability and a right to have my support order modified. I also have a right to a "state hearing" to review my child support case. But I've learned that just because I know my "rights" and how the law is supposed work, that doesn't mean I'm going to get any justice. Do I have a real chance to recover the amount I've overpaid and stop the garnishment of my check?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Did you file income tax in 1999...did you recieve any notice from the Irs at all !
    Some live and learn while some learn to live

    Comment


    • #3
      File for modification of support on the basis of inability to survive on the money you have left and have and accounting and ask for a child support credit and readjustment. I suggest that you get an attorney, as you may qualify for free Legal Services help also.

      Comment


      • #4
        Abused by department of shild spport

        Thanks for the quick replies.

        In 2001 I was contacted by the state franchise tax board. I had to explain why I didn't file a return in 1999. I haven't filed a federal return since 1998 and I've never heard anything from the IRS.

        I asked the local legal aid foundation for help in 1999 and was told "we only help people with things like restraining orders and obtaining child support."
        I've become accustomed to this kind of response and know there's no point in arguing about it. I don't even know if this town still has a legal aid office, but I'll check into it. On Friday I left a message asking the family law facilitator to help me with this matter, but based on past experience with local agencies, I don't expect he'll actually give me any assistance.

        Since my daughter's benefit exceeds my CSO by $150, I don't see any point in requesting a modification, because benefits derived from my social security account are supposed to be creditted to my child support obligation. I haven't been able to find and read the actual statute, but have heard this from many sources and am pretty sure that it is the law in California.

        I think I'd be better served by trying to recover the funds I've overpaid and stopping the garnishment of my check. This may sound self-serving, but I don't want the money for myself. When I started receiving SSDI, I told my ex that I'd gotten a huge check for back-pay and that she would soon get the $6,000 I owed in arrears. I asked her to please use at least half the money to start a college fund for our daughter and she agreed. My daughter recently told me that her mom put $300 in an account for college, but then withdrew it and wouldn't even say what she spent it on. My daughter hasn't been to the dentist in at least 4 years. There is no excuse for this - my ex and her husband both work and have good benefits from their jobs + the $495 they get from SSA and my check. But when my daughter tells her mother her teeth hurt, my ex tells her she'll have to earn her own money because "we can't afford it."

        My daughter turned 12 years old today (3/25/06) and she has to pay for her own dental care? She's in a program for gifted and talented children but her mother hasn't saved a penny for college. Yet, she and her husband have the money to fly to New York at least once a year to see the Yankees play baseball!

        My life has been utterly destroyed but I still want the best for my child. I don't know where all my support money went, but I do know that very little of it has been spent on my daughter. And concern for her health and future is the only motivation I have for trying to recover what I've overpaid - there is no doubt in my mind that $5,000 isn't worth anywhere near the amount of stress and grief I'll get from the department of child support services. It just isn't!

        Comment


        • #5
          Cs-abuse

          Originally posted by rod_serling
          Thanks for the quick replies.

          In 2001 I was contacted by the state franchise tax board. I had to explain why I didn't file a return in 1999. I haven't filed a federal return since 1998 and I've never heard anything from the IRS.

          I asked the local legal aid foundation for help in 1999 and was told "we only help people with things like restraining orders and obtaining child support."
          I've become accustomed to this kind of response and know there's no point in arguing about it. I don't even know if this town still has a legal aid office, but I'll check into it. On Friday I left a message asking the family law facilitator to help me with this matter, but based on past experience with local agencies, I don't expect he'll actually give me any assistance.

          Since my daughter's benefit exceeds my CSO by $150, I don't see any point in requesting a modification, because benefits derived from my social security account are supposed to be creditted to my child support obligation. I haven't been able to find and read the actual statute, but have heard this from many sources and am pretty sure that it is the law in California.

          I think I'd be better served by trying to recover the funds I've overpaid and stopping the garnishment of my check. This may sound self-serving, but I don't want the money for myself. When I started receiving SSDI, I told my ex that I'd gotten a huge check for back-pay and that she would soon get the $6,000 I owed in arrears. I asked her to please use at least half the money to start a college fund for our daughter and she agreed. My daughter recently told me that her mom put $300 in an account for college, but then withdrew it and wouldn't even say what she spent it on. My daughter hasn't been to the dentist in at least 4 years. There is no excuse for this - my ex and her husband both work and have good benefits from their jobs + the $495 they get from SSA and my check. But when my daughter tells her mother her teeth hurt, my ex tells her she'll have to earn her own money because "we can't afford it."

          My daughter turned 12 years old today (3/25/06) and she has to pay for her own dental care? She's in a program for gifted and talented children but her mother hasn't saved a penny for college. Yet, she and her husband have the money to fly to New York at least once a year to see the Yankees play baseball!

          My life has been utterly destroyed but I still want the best for my child. I don't know where all my support money went, but I do know that very little of it has been spent on my daughter. And concern for her health and future is the only motivation I have for trying to recover what I've overpaid - there is no doubt in my mind that $5,000 isn't worth anywhere near the amount of stress and grief I'll get from the department of child support services. It just isn't!
          Dear Sir, Elklaw is correct in the direction you should go! The reason that your situation seems trail-less is because you have been flaged by the child support office. The reason i asked about the Irs, is that they are notified when there is a $500 dollar arrearage which put your name in FLAG-MODE, that's what i call it. Now that all CS and SS benifits are in the control of the state, what ever is said that you owe will be taken from your monthly benefit! These agencies do commuicate with each other without you even knowing it! So.. you're right. You will be better served with modification of support and trying to recover any money that you feel was taken unjustly. Listen, If i were you, i would make **** sure that the Irs is satisfied with your relationship with them. No matter what... you still need to file for 1998 earnings. Good Luck Sir!!!!
          Some live and learn while some learn to live

          Comment


          • #6
            Abused by department of shild support

            In my original post I left out details in the interest of brevity, but I think I left out too much.

            In 2001, my child support officer said $158 would be withheld from my monthly benefit and I was to pay $92 to her office. This was a lie - the SSA didn't withhold any amount from my check before 2003. And the IRS had nothing to do with it - I demanded that the department of child support services arrange to have $92 withheld. I believed it was a mistake the full amount of my monthly obligation ($250) wasn't being deducted . When I told my child support officer I wanted $92 withheld, he laughed like it was the funniest thing he'd ever heard. I didn't get the joke back then, but now I do - I was entitled to a dollar for dollar credit for benefits my daughter derives from my social security account , and she was already getting at least $100 dollars more than I was obligated to pay! I never should have had to pay $92 in the first place, but I was demanding that it be withheld! Isn't that funny?

            I have no idea why I was told to pay only $92 - if the child support officer had told me to, I'd have paid $250 and been none the wiser.

            I've been on my computer since 10:00 AM trying to find out if I have a legal right to a statement of my daughter's benefits paid from my social security account. I've also been trying to find the section in the California code that mentions the dollar for dollar credit. I've googled every search term I can think of, and still haven't found what I'm looking for. I'm pretty sure I've got a legal right to the credit and the benefit statement, because DCSS and SSA voluntarily gave me this information. I just want to see it in writing.

            As for the IRS, I believe you're absolutely right about the communication between it and DCSS. I'm certain the IRS knows almost everything there is to know about my financial situation. But I don't have any federal tax liability because my gross income for 1998 (and every year up to now) is below the threshhold that mandates filing a return.

            I'm probably missing something, but I still don't see any reason to request modification of my support obligation. The $403 SSA pays directly to my daughter is an entitlement she would receive even if I had no obligation to pay child support. It has nothing to do with dollar amount of my order, and even though it is paid from my social security account, it doesn't reduce my benefits.

            If I'm wrong about any of this, please tell me so. And if there are any attorneys on this board, I really would appreciate any insight you could give me. I can access most of the statutes on the net, but I need to know how the law is actually applied, as opposed to how it's supposed applied.

            Comment

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