I received a letter in the mail this morning. Or possibly it was for me. The last name is one I’ve never had. The account number referenced is my mother’s social security number. But they have my social security number listed in their threat.
The letter states that I was overpaid benefits in the amount of $142.00 and if I do not make arrangements to pay this amount within 60 days they will put a lien on our tax return for the amount.
I have NEVER received social security benefits. So I called the office listed in Casa Grande, wondering *why* I had to call Casa Grande instead of my local office. I spoke with a very snotty woman who insisted that the name on the letter was, in fact, my maiden name and didn’t believe me that it wasn’t. She also insisted that I received benefits under my mother’s name when I lived in Gila Bend (and Casa Grande is the closet SS office to there, mystery of that solved at least). The thing is, I NEVER LIVED IN GILA BEND. And my mother was employed full time as a teacher when SHE lived in Gila Bend. And when she lived in Gila Bend, I was married with three children — and lived with my husband and children — in another part of the state.
The woman I spoke with did not call me a liar directly, but it was definitely implied in her tone…and she kept insisting I had collected benefits under my mother’s name while living in Gila Bend. I kept insisting I had not, and reiterating that I was an adult living in a separate household, and that I have the tax returns to prove it. I also kept reiterating my mother was employed full time for the school district and wasn’t collecting benefits either, neither of which she believed. I also informed her my mother has been dead for almost ten years. She at that point connected me to the extension of someone named Patty, who was not available to speak with me (of course) and so I left a message.
Now, my mother did collect disability in the 70′s after she got rheumatoid arthritis and couldn’t work as a nurse any more. She could have stayed on it for the rest of her life, but that wasn’t her ethic. Instead, she went back to school and became a teacher, a career she worked in for the rest of her life. She was on SSDI for a grand total of perhaps 2.5 years. I don’t know how they can say my mother collected benefits in my name — she collected benefits for herself. And I was a minor at the time; if she was overpaid how can a (now adult) child be held responsible for that? And what’s further, since she graduated in 1979, isn’t there some sort of statute of limitations on this crap? That was over 30 years ago for crying out loud!
I’m just fit to be tied. What the hell?