Can the Social Security office gain access to a closed bank account, that a person had while they were not receiving SSI ?
6 attorney answers
I agree with the others. The SSA cannot access a closed bank account. What they will do is reduce the benefit until the overpayment is repaid. You should call them and work out a payment plan.
Social Security does not take overpayments from bank accounts. They simply withhold benefit payments, in whole or in part, to pay toward the balance. Your friend should go into SSA to get it figured out and arrange a payment schedule s/he can live with. Good luck.
The only reason that comes to mind for SS office to attempt this is to verify assets which your friend has disclosed or not on the initial application. Ie. Whether there was non disclosed assets or misrepresentation of assets on the application.
In addition to AVVO's disclaimer, please note that by this answer no attorney client relationship is intended nor entered into and unless there is a signed retainer agreement in place, neither me nor anyone in our office has intended to solicit clients nor represent them. The answers are general in nature and without weighing specifics of particular query. No answer should be relied on in whole or in part, directly or otherwise to act or not to act in pursue of any of your potential claims in law or equity. You should consult with and obtain advise or representation of an attorney to protect your rights regarding your case or matter.
There is no way to know. Though, I am aware of banks and financial institutions reporting information directly to the IRS, so there is always a possibility that even if the account was closed the existence of the account does not disappear with the closing of the account. There are numerous ways records of an account can stay recorded somewhere -- so the answer is maybe. Obviously, if the overpayment is due to that account Social Security would have to know of it.
If the bank account is closed then there is nothing for the SSA to access. However, the bigger problem is the claimed over payment itself which is something your friend will need to address with SSA. This link might be helpful: http://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-overpay-ussi.htm
answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Given only the information provided, and assuming the same is true, I would say, "no," the Administration cannot gain access to your friend's bank account, especially if it appears one no longer exists to access. I answer as I do as you generally must provide the Administration with information necessary to access the bank account in the first place, e.g. account number and routing number, in addition to granting permission to do the same. Presumably, the only reason the Administration would be accessing the account is because they were previously granted the permission, and information, to do so. As such, I would advise your friend contact the Administration directly to figure out what is going on- he/she may go to the office in person or reach out by telephone. If they are unable to resolve the matter, I would advise they seek counsel, i.e. legal representation, for assistance with this matter. Good luck to you, and, your friend.
The comments provided by Attorney Ellis are done so only for general information and do not constitute legal advice. An attorney-client relationship has not here been established with Attorney Ellis. Should you wish to obtain legal advice regarding your individual situation, please contact Attorney Ellis directly or consult an attorney licensed in your particular locale with experience in the field.