Specific Situations > Young Widowed Parents

Social Security

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I get Social Security payments for my children, and I've been told over and over that when the year-end questionnaire comes I should mark that I used it all for their support rather than listing that I saved some of it.  Last year after submitting this form I got a call from SS essentially asking if I was sure this is what I did, and my answer was yes.  This year I got another call and now they are asking for details on how I spent these funds - on the phone she even asked me what my mortgage payment was, for example.  While I'm happy not to have a mortgage payment, I got the feeling that it wasn't the 'right' answer.  I said I would have to compile that list and so I have 30 days to do this.

Well.  I really don't know how much of that money goes to my kids' upkeep, because all of our funds get comingled.  Has anyone else dealt with this level of scrutiny?

I haven't been audited yet, or called for that matter but it makes me think that I need to be prepared should it happen.

Sorry that you're dealing with this.   My son's SS payments stopped once he graduated from high school, I still get payment for my 17 y/o daughter.   I figure that I use all SS funds and more on her care, it would be a chore to put together some kind of financial proof though.   

I haven't been scrutinized that way but have thought about it.  I was to,d by my accountant that you divide all expenses by the number of people in the home to get what you spend on each child.  If no mortgage you still pay taxes on your home. Electric, heat, cable, phone, cell phone, groceries, clothes, school supplies, car payment, gas, sports and hobbies, healthcare costs including what you contribute for insurance, all of it. 

What a pain in the neck to gather all of that!  Good luck and let us know how it goes. 

I have not had that level of scrutiny. I have started keeping a spreadsheet spending. All household expenses(as listed by Trying) divided by 3 plus each kids childcare and clothing and whatnot. Vacations too. I typically stop once I reach their annual SS amount out of laziness.

Bummer that they have targeted you for audit. Sound like a pain in the ass.

Someone from the *old* board was audited - it happens now and then. Basically, they are just doing a random check. You likely can show that you paid more than you are getting to take care of your kids without too much difficulty.

There are a lot of living and entertainment expenses that qualify. Some are:

Rent (you said no mortgage, but your rent also qualifies)
Food (if you charge your groceries, pull out copies of the CC bills and circle the ones from supermarkets)
Utilities - light, heat, water, trash, etc.

For the above, you can use a portion of the expenses. If you have 2 kids, you can allocate 1/3 to each (the last third is for you).

Clothing - same thing if you charged them
Anything for school such as supplies, class trip costs, etc.
Entertainment - sports fees, vacations, etc.
Religious education fees
Medical copays, etc.
Some of your auto expenses (gas, insurance, maintenance) for getting them to the places they need to go - school, doctors, playdates, etc. Not sure how you would allocate this but submit it to SS and see what they say.

Basically, anything you spend money on your kids for should qualify. Just get the bills together, circle the amounts that relate to the kids and send it to SS. Usually, their share of rent, food, utilities will cover the lio's share of what they get, if not all of it.



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