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QUESTION: I Don’t Want to Give My Ex Our Daughter’s Social Security Number So He Can File for Food Stamps and Public Assistance… Am I Wrong?
“I divorced my husband last year, but I have primary custody of our daughter. My ex has weekend visitation. I handle all the insurance, health appointments, and schooling. Because he was struggling, I decided not to file for any support to let him get on his feet because, at the time, I was doing pretty well for myself.
It has been hard because her health insurance alone runs around $200 a month, along with her day to day and childcare expenses. Luckily I have been able to work from home, so I haven’t had to pay for childcare since March 2020, but I have been working reduced hours. I am expecting another daughter in May, and funds are starting to get really tight for my boyfriend and me.
Even the half-hour drive to his apartment and the half-hour drive back every Friday night, and Sunday is taking its toll on our expenses. (He doesn’t have a car at the moment.) Recently he asked me for her social security number so he could file for food stamps and public assistance. I am hesitant to give it to him since the requirement for public assistance is that you are providing more than 50% support for a dependent.
I know part of me is hesitant to give him her social security number since he would be committing fraud, but at the same time, I’m looking at potentially either needing to file for support myself once I go out on maternity leave (which I can’t do if he files with her) or filing for support from him.
As her father, I think he should have at least copies of her legal documents and identifications; however, he has never asked for copies of her birth certificate or even her insurance card. I am trying my best to maintain a good relationship with him, but every time I talk to him, he talks about ordering takeout a few times a week, going bowling and parties with his friends, or the new video games he bought.
I have been doing everything I can to pay the bills that. Yes, it angers me a little when he talks about spending his money so frivolously, but I know I have no say on how he utilizes his money. Am I selfish keeping important documents away from him even if I know his intentions on how to use them?”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“Don’t give the social security number to him… I’m willing to bet he wants to file her on his taxes. There is no reason for him to need it. Also if he isn’t even paying any support he needs to figure out how to get her for visitation. He’s an adult and needs to step up for his daughter. It’s not your responsibility to make him act like a dad. You’ve given him enough time you should file for child support as well. You’ve been nicer and more understanding than most. If he has money to waste then he has money to help support his child.”
“Don’t let him use your daughter for assistance. And stop letting him get away with not financially supporting her.”
“Be smart, mama. It’s tax season. He’s not applying for food stamps… he’s going to try and claim her on his taxes. I would keep it for yourself since you’re her sole provider and if you need them in the future, you know that you don’t have to jump through hurdles to get whatever it is you need with her social. Especially if you’re going to apply for food stamps or public assistance, they’ll flag YOU for fraud because her social is already being used for another open case. He needs to step up before he asks for things like that.”
“I’d bet that he is trying to claim her on taxes. It seems awfully fishy he just happens to be filing for assistance right when tax season is starting.”
“Nope! He can’t get food assistance for a child who doesn’t live with him 50% of the time. I wouldn’t trust that he will try and claim her on his taxes either.”
“Do not give that social security number to him!! He doesn’t even help you support her why would you let him commit fraud so he can get over on the system? He should be able to feed himself if he isn’t contributing at all to raising the child. Absolutely not. You could get in trouble knowing it’s fraud and letting him do it.”
“Do not do it! He does not have even 50% custody and she does not live there! That is complete fraud. Do not help him commit it.”
“Tell him you’re already using her for benefits so he wouldn’t be allowed to… then it will come out if there’s another reason he wants it or not.”
“NO. He just asked for it? Right before tax time? Um big no. If you file for assistance, the state will go after him for child support. If he claims your daughter on his assistance, and then you claim her at tax time, it will be seen and you or him will have to pay back that assistance, causing more issues. So NO.”
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