It can take years, even decades, for student loan borrowers to repay their debts. To that end, a new report has found that tens of thousands of older adults – including senior citizens – continue to be saddled with mountains of student debt later in life, often having their government benefits cut to repay the costs. [More]
When I was working at the library in college, every student had to tell me his/her student ID number to check out a book, and with very few exceptions that number was also the student’s Social Security number. Oh boy, the profitable things I could have done if I’d been enterprisingly evil. [More]
In a massive program like Social Security, sometimes people get overpayments ranging from a few bucks to a few thousand bucks. It used to be that if whatever government entity overpaid a family didn’t catch up with them and recoup the money, the statute of limitations on the debt would run out after ten years. A teeny section of the 2008 farm bill changed that, and now the government is snatching up taxpayers’ refunds to cover their dead parents’ decades-old debts. [More]
Outdated Social Security System Puts Some Who Wait To Marry At Greater Risk For Poverty In Retirement
Marriage has long been seen as a way to bring stability to a couple’s finances. You earn together, save together, and many decades down the road you may even qualify to receive retirement and survivor income from Social Security thanks to your beloved. But times are changing and the rules that govern these benefits were designed more than 50 years ago when fewer women worked and couples tended to tie the knot earlier. Today’s evolving marriage and work trends are leaving some future retirees vulnerable. [More]
In the process of dealing with the death of a parent, it might be forgivable if you overlook some paperwork and the Social Security folks send out a benefits check meant for the deceased. But when you deliberately hide this death for two decades while collecting nearly $200,000 that doesn’t belong to you, you’re probably going to jail. [More]
We always recommend that you take advantage of your right to check your three credit reports once a year just because you never know what you might find. Like the California man who learned from Equifax that he’s been dead for a few years and also that he had a widow living 20 miles away. [More]
Social Security “checks” are no longer a thing. People who receive retirement, disability, or death benefits have to get them through direct deposit or a debit card. What happens when fraudsters strike and that money goes missing from the card? Too bad for you, apparently. That’s what one retiree learned when $824 in charges she didn’t make disappeared from her debit card. [More]
As the sun rises over Washington, D.C., this morning, huge numbers of federal employees are either not coming in to work or are only coming in to shut down their offices until lawmakers sort this mess out. But just because the wheels of government have come grinding to a halt doesn’t mean everything is put on hold indefinitely. [More]
Earlier today, the Supreme Court effectively struck down the federal Defense Of Marriage Act. For same-sex couples around the country, this could open up a whole new world of tax breaks and benefits that were previously not allowed, while also taking away some unintended perks that same-sex couples had enjoyed because the government did not recognize their unions. [More]
Back in 1971, someone at the Social Security Administration goofed and overpaid a woman to the amount of $895. This past January, 42 years after the fact, that woman’s son says he received a letter from the SSA telling him to pay up or have that money docked from his tax refund. [More]
Ask Tax Dad: Amending My Taxes, Social Security Disability, And Buried In Online Brokerage Paperwork
Usually, our staff Certified Tax Cat handles readers’ questions about taxes, but he found a particularly good sunbeam and called in for a personal day. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and real live independent tax preparer. Exclusively on Consumerist this spring, Tax Dad answers your questions. [More]
Remember the year you couldn’t even find a babysitting job and cashed out all your savings bonds just to afford groceries and beer? The U.S. Social Security Administration does, and now all of your past earning info and more is online, ready and waiting for you to walk down memory lane or prepare for your future.
Four suspects have been arrested after being accused of a diabolical scheme where they locked up people in a basement and stole their Social Security checks.
In an era burdened by pay freezes across countless industries, the only sure way to get a raise is to retire. Social Security has snapped out of its own rate freeze and is handing out a 3.6 percent benefits increase next year.
The Social Security disability fund may not be able to make payments come 2017, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Every day in this country, more than 38 living, breathing Americans join the ranks of the living dead after their names somehow end up on the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File.
I got cocky. I thought after several emails with a Humana communications person and a story on Consumerist, the insurance company would surely relent and let Dean’s father, Thomas, cancel his unnecessary supplemental Medicare insurance. Nope. After all our efforts, Humana called Thomas only to tell him, once again, that they won’t let him cancel. This time, because they say the signature on his request form doesn’t match the signature on his policy. Which is odd, because Thomas is the one who signed both.