A friend who was on social security disability recently passed away unexpectedly. She had already spent her social security check on bills, medication, etc. She has no estate, no property, no bank account... Will her family be required to repay her social security since their is no way to recoup it from the deceased? They're broke too and struggling to find funds for her funeral so this is causing them a lot of extra stress.
I am a little confused by your question. The decedent's family will not have to pay back SSA if the decedent was getting SS disability or retirement. SSA will simply stop providing benefits. The family should inform SSA of this matter to prevent continued payments.
This opinion does not establish an attorney-client relationship, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and does not compel responsive follow-up answers. You are cautioned to contact a local attorney in your area who is duly licensed and is in good standing with the local state Bar for legal advice.
Was your friend repaying an overpayment? If so, and there was a payee, the payee may be held liable to repay the debt. Otherwise, generally the family is not responsible but this has not stopped SSA from trying to collect from them in the past. There is litigation pending regarding this very issue currently that should decide whether or not SSA can properly collect from family members.
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I agree with Mr. Lonetto and Mr. Rogers. It is unlikely that family members would be asked to repay any funds to the SSA unless someone was acting as a payee. You do absolutely need to notify the SSA of the passing of your friend to prevent any further payments.
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