I have a 13 year old child. Her father (who has never been involved in her life) does not pay child support b/c the state determined he has "too many children" (9 total) and only some of them qualified for payments (not my child though, even though she’s the oldest of them).
I recently found out he is on Social Security. I am not sure if it is disability or retirement (he is 53). My child recently found out via a sibling (another child of his) that he is saying that I get money for my child from his social security payments. However, I have never received any money from social security for my child, nor did I even know my child was entitled to it.
Today I talked to two different reps on the social security hotline to try to get more information about where this supposed money is going that he thinks I’m getting now. The first rep seemed to say that he might be getting the checks himself, and seem flustered when I told her that he has never had involvement in my child’s life. She could not give any more information about it to me due to the fact I didn’t have any other information on my child’s father other than his name. When I called back a second time with more demographics on my child’s father, the second rep seemed to indicate that "if" payments were being made it "might" be going to child support. When I told that rep I didn’t get any child support, he suggested I make an appointment in person to apply for social security benefits for my child.
My first question is, if it turns out that my child’s father had been getting checks for my child and cashing them all along, will my child be entitled to that money retroactively? Will I need to file a suit against him to get it, or would this be considered some type of fraud or criminal matter?
My second question is, if it happens that the social security was going to child support enforcement and never being distributed to my child (which may be the case, as I have lived in several places in the last 5 years and they may not have had a correct address to send it to), is there a quicker way to find this out other than filing for benefits from scratch with the social security office? I already tried contacting the child support office, and all they have for my child is a closed case from when my child’s father actually paid for a couple of years in the past, before they determined that he was no longer obligated to (after he had a few more kids).