CBS: Social Security Still Seizing Tax Refunds to Collect on Debts of Dead Relatives

‘They feel that, “We’re the government, we can do whatever we want, however we want, whenever we want”‘

Why is Social Security seizing your tax refund over your relatives' debt? (CBS News)

CBS News first met Mary Grice in April after her tax refund of almost $3,000 dollars had been confiscated, she said, without notice. It turned out the Social Security Administration had seized her refund, claiming her family received too much in death benefits after Grice's father died - in 1960. Grice, who was five years old at the time, says she never got a penny and calls the loss of her refund an injustice.

"They feel that, 'We're the government, we can do whatever we want, however we want, whenever we want.' and it's so unfair," she said.

Grice was the target of what Social Security calls its Treasury Offset Program, which allows it to seize old debt. Officials believe that debt older than ten years totals $714 million and needs to be collected.

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