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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Can My Mom Go to Prison for Perjury if She Didn't Know She Was Her Husband's Overseer

    State: West Virginia

    My mother has been in an abusive marriage for almost five years and has just recently become brave enough to try to escape. Five days ago, she had a phone appointment to apply for Social Security Disability as suggested by her doctor. She was told that she could not apply because she was the overseer of her husband's Social Security. She was not aware of this or what it meant and told the interviewer so. He said it meant that she was supposed to be managing the finances of her husband as he was incapable of doing so himself. He said that her name must be removed as the overseer because she could go to prison for perjury. My mother was very upset and made an appointment for this coming Monday to do so.

    Today, she received about a twenty page letter at her mother's house (she is not allowed a mailbox key) informing her again that she might go to prison and also have to pay back the extra money her husband has received from apparantly pretending to be incapable of managing his own finances. She does not work and he has never allowed her to handle any of the household finances. He has informed her many times that if she ever uses the debit card, he will kill her. So of course, she doesn't. Many times, it means that she goes without food and other necessities.

    Since she had no idea she was an overseer, or of her responsibilities as one, do you think my mom will end up in prison? She says he often makes her sign papers, but she never knowingly agreed to be an overseer. Her husband is extremely violent and emotionally abusive and she is afraid of what he might do to her if the Social Security people now question his capabilities and decrease his payments.

    We have been working hard on her plan of escape, which has been difficult, as her husband does not work so he is always there and monitors everything closely. Now this, another obstacle... I am always worried about him hurting her, but thinking that she could go to prison has me terrified. My mother is 54 and is as law-abiding as they come. She has never been in any sort of trouble - even in her youth. I have tried to reassure her that it will be okay, but I need some reassurance myself. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    694

    Default Re: Can My Mom Go to Prison for Perjury if She Didn't Know She Was Her Husband's Over

    It is highly unlikely that she would go to prison using the facts that you have given. Only a tiny percentage of recipients and payees are convicted of fraud so egregious that they spend time in jail or prison. Anytime an SSI claimant has an overpayment, there is also a notice sent that the payee may be considered personally liable, if she is at fault in causing the overpayment. But her husband would not be overpaid SSI just because he pretended to be incapable.

    What exactly does the letter give as the reason for the overpayment and the time period of the overpayment?

    The SSI overpayment is way down the list on her list of problems. I hope she is successful in getting away. Have you talked to your local woman's abuse center? Stay strong for her.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    694

    Default Re: Can My Mom Go to Prison for Perjury if She Didn't Know She Was Her Husband's Over

    Also, being payee for someone doesn't mean you can't apply for yourself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Can My Mom Go to Prison for Perjury if She Didn't Know She Was Her Husband's Over

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions. It gave me the reassurance I needed to get us both refocused on the escape plan. It is set for Wednesday. Our group will sweep in and move her personal belongings out quickly. We have an apartment rented and set up in an unknown location to the husband. My brother or myself will be with her at all times. And we have rescued a dog for her to help alert us to any strange noises.

    She has an appointment to remove her name as overseer of her husband's payments tomorrow afternoon. To answer the questions you asked - the letter states the time period of the possible overpayment in January 18, 2006 through the present and I cannot find a clear reason given for the possible overpayment. It is on the list of questions we have prepared for her tomorrow. I will update when I have more information.

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