Social Security Seizing Tax Refunds of Innocent People because They Overpaid a Relative

Imagine how you would feel if you had proudly served your country in the military and were now excited about starting a family. You’re eight months pregnant and planning to use your $6,000 tax refund to help with the expenses of your upcoming arrival, but without warning, you learn that the Social Security Administration seized your refund. You’ve done nothing wrong and owe no back taxes or benefits. When you inquire as to why, you are told that Social Security says they overpaid your mother when you were a child and are now seizing your refund to payback the overage.

Would you be outraged? I would hope so.

This happened to Jessica Vela, a veteran of the US Navy. She recalled how she felt at the time, saying:

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“I had a baby due the next month. There are no words to explain how helpless the situation has been.”

“I’ve told them ’til I’m blue in the face, I was a minor, I was learning to ride a bike during that time.”

After serving her nation, Vela now feels helpless against the very government she defended.

Vale is not the only one who has been the victim of the aggressive refund seizures of the Social Security Administration. Tony Award winning Actress Shalita Grant also found herself missing her federal tax refund of $1,500. When she inquired, Social Security informed her that they had overpaid her father by more than $13,000 in disability and that they were taking her tax refund to recover the overpayment.

Grant told the media:

“I would describe it as a theft. I’m asking for a bill. I’m asking for something that says I owe you. I feel like you guys stole from me and I have nothing to show for it.”

When asked if stolen was too strong of word, she responded:

“Oh yeah, and I feel strongly about that.”

CBS News tried to contact Social Security officials about seizing the refunds of relatives of people they overpaid, but they declined to speak on camera. The news agency reports:

“In court filings, it said it has the legal authority to go after the relatives of people overpaid in benefits. However, the agency has repeatedly denied it has ever done so.”

“In January the agency told Congress: ‘We did not…[collect] any…debt that was incurred by a parent or another family member.’”

“’It’s a flat lie,’ Vela said. ‘It’s an absolute, bold-faced lie.’”

“After our investigation Social Security admitted that the taxpayers in our story were not to blame, that the money had indeed gone to their parents and both of those women got their refunds back. But that’s an admission that Social Security is doing the exact kind of aggressive debt collection it’s told the public it would never do.”

If you have anyone in your family receiving Social Security disability, you may find yourself in the same situation of losing your tax refunds to a government agency that says they don’t go after relatives.

This isn’t the only way you may find yourself in a similar situation. Over twenty years ago, the estate recovery clause was added to Medicaid. If you are 55 or over and receive Medicaid coverage, the state you live in can seize your estate when you die to recover the costs they paid out for your health care.

Under Obamacare, the estate recovery may hit millions more Americans. Before Obama could pardon the millions that would have lost their healthcare, there were millions that already had lost their policies. Many of these people cannot afford the new policies being offered to them through the Obamacare exchange programs.

Thanks to Obamacare, the qualifications for Medicaid have been changed to allow more lower income people of all ages to apply. Twenty-six states adopted the new Medicaid standards which means that more people will be applying and receiving Medicaid coverage than ever before.

With more people receiving Medicaid the system will quickly become drained of resources, which means that states need to find new ways to generate enough revenue to pay for them. Enacting the estate recovery clause is one way that some states may be forced to turn.

There have also been numerous reports of Barack Obama and the federal government having the ability to seize our bank and retirement accounts under certain circumstances which they could easily fabricate. It seems it won’t be long before all of America could find all of their assets taken away by a socialist government, making us all their slaves.

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