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Ugh definitely gonna have to go to court

Jcksjj's picture

In the latest "BM wants all the money" update:

P ebt cards were sent out a couple months ago. SDs came to our house because it is listed as her primary address. Its given to kids who receive free or reduced lunch and SD and ODS qualified for it this year through our household. The money on it is reimbursement for the beginning of the school year- when SD was here at least half time. So we thought nothing of using it to buy groceries - I mean we paid for SD to eat when she was here and last years was actually under my name because I submit the application for free and reduced lunch for our house. It's only like $70 a month for a few months anyway. 

Well, BM called and had the card marked as being lost or stolen and a new one sent to her house. Which makes no sense because everything has SDs primary address listed as ours BY BMs OWN CHOICE and BM doesn't even live in the state the cards are from. When I asked BM about it she lost her mind and said we should never have touched that money because it was for SD (and again, she ate at least half her meals at our house at that time) and when I told her I would call the state back to get it cleared up she kept telling me I dont have to because it's already taken care of by her and they're sending her a new card. So who knows what she told them.

So yeah, clearly there's going to have to be some sort of court order so this crap doesn't keep happening. 


Powerfamily's picture

Phone the issuer for the card, it's a card for your home and not hers.  Sounds like she trying to commit fraud.

BethAnne's picture

If it is like the one we got the card is in the name of the child. The child now lives with her mother most of the time. So I don't think it would count as fraud and I don't think it is worth fighting over either as SD will now be eating most of her meals at BM's house so that is where the money should go in my opinion. 

tog redux's picture

She doesn't even live in the state issuing the card. She wants to have the kid full-time and get benefits from OP's state for her. They are all going to wind up being charged with fraud. 

Jcksjj's picture

So just to clarify- this is different than regular food stamps. We didn't apply for it. The state got the information from the school for kids who receive free or reduced lunch. 

Jcksjj's picture

It is. The money isn't for now though- she's receiving free lunches while she's in school now. It's from last fall when they were doing distance learning to make up for the lunches they should have gotten there.

tog redux's picture

Yes, he has to go to court. Especially with this inter-state thing going on with benefits and school. 

He really should be the one who files, or he's going to get his head handed to him. They are both committing benefits fraud at this point. Her for using his address and him for allowing it. At the very least he needs to change her address with the school and the health insurance. 

You guys are playing a dangerous game - just to avoid child support, I assume? He needs to either get the old schedule back or pay her support. 

Jcksjj's picture

I looked up who is considered household members for the MA and it says to include anyone on your taxes even if they don't live with you - which SD was on our taxes this last year. So at least for now that should be legit. But still it's all so messy and ridiculous and she's probably just gonna send her back once all the pandemic extra money is gone/she starts working again, gets a boyfriend who doesn't like kids (which is why she handed her over to DH when they first split up) etc. So we've been dragging our feet mainly because we didn't expect it to last and didn't want to put down 5 grand on a credit card just to have BM send her back to our house again when her situation changes.

tog redux's picture

Personally, I think you should take her off your state's insurance and let BM know she needs to get all benefits from her state, and attend school in her area in the fall. That way she can't have her cake and eat it too; get the higher benefits from your state while keeping her all the time). Especially since DH didn't fight her changing the verbal agreement.

The problem with playing the waiting game is that she can file for support and he'll probably owe back support (it usually only goes to date of filing, but get a jerk judge and it can go back to the date BM started having her full-time.

You don't really need an attorney, necessarily - just file on your own.  You aren't going to fight her keeping her full-time, you just want it in writing (I think).

ndc's picture

I would look carefully at what changes/events you are required to notify your state about for Medicaid coverage.  If SD leaving your home and primarily living with her mother in another state is one of them, give the notice.  If not having SD as part of your household size changes eligibility for your other kids, that's all the more reason to figure out what is going on with SD longterm, which likely means getting a court order.  

Edited to add:  I looked at the list of things we have to give notice for in my state (we are on CHIP program), and it includes if someone moves out of the household or someone has a change in tax dependents.

tog redux's picture

I agree. Medicaid does not play around, you don't want to be messing with them.  They could very well demand a big lump sum of money and threaten legal charges if they find out she didn't live there for months and they were never notified.


ndc's picture

One other thing I forgot. At least in my state, they're not removing people from Medicaid or charging premiums even if you report changes during the pandemic emergency.  Last time I had to report an income change, they made it sound like they expected the "emergency" to last at least through the end of this year and probably beyond. So reporting changes might not make a difference in the short term, but you cover yourself.