Survivor's Benefits

Memphis, TN

#1 Apr 3, 2008

In 1991, my daughter's father applied for SSA disability benefits and was approved for the benefits in July of 1992. The office called me to gather all of my daughter's infomation, so that she could receive benefits along with his children by his wife. I provided the agent with all of her info and she said if she needed anything else she would contact me. Later, that day she called back stating that when she informed him that my daughter's amount would decrease the amount that would be received in his household, he took off the claim, but continued to give me money out of his pockets that added to more than what SSA would have paid her.

Since before my daughter was born, I had attempted to get him to go with me to get her legitimated, his excuse was that he too sick to sit to see anyone at Juvenile Court. I went a initiated the action myself, but he never responded to any of the notices, there were warrants for his arrest and he was never picked up.

He passed away in October, 1995 and I attempted to apply for survivor's benefits for her, but told that I needed the order of paternity, so that she could receive her benefits. I submitted a reconsideraion and was told that I still would proof of paternity before she could get the survivor's benefits. I once had received AFDC and was told that the state would handle the matter,I only received them for a short time and after I stopped receiving benefits, I was on my own on the matter.

I attempted to contact his relatives and I had no luck with that until his son turned 18 and agreed to a kinship test for the paternity. The geniuses at Juvenile court said that it had to be researched to see if they could do that and it took them 4 years to come up with an answer and she was finally legitimated in October 2007. During that time, I worked for an attorney, who tried to help me but was told that nothing could proceed until, a decision was made whether the son could be used as a witness or not.

I re-applied for the Survivior's benefits and they were approved in October, 2007, but the local representative said that she did not have the authority to approve the benefits past six months and that when I receive the "Notice of Award", request a reconsideration on the date of entitlement, which I did in November, the same day that I received the notice.

I read that reconsideration "normally" takes 120 days and it has been about that long. I called the 800 number and was told that it was still being processed as of 03/19/08, but they did not see any thing additional. I call my senator's office, whose assistant made an inquiry and was told today that the reconsideration had been processed and to be looking for the backpay. Later today, I received a call from my local office (SSA) and was told there was no back pay and the reconsideration was completed on 02/28/08. But she said that a notice was never sent out. I asked what was the decision and she said there wa not one in the file. She proceed to instruct me on how to file an appeal, but told me to wait while she made a call to the payment processing center (where she said that the file was) to see what was going on and she would call me back. When she did call back, she said that she still was not able to find out any thing.

Now I am wondering on what to do and how to go about what to do. I don't know whether my daughter is entitled to the back pay,whether her civil rights are being violated,or whether to file an appeal or what. Please offer advice ASAP, I'm going crazy here.....thank you in advance!

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