In 1968, a 39-year-old funeral director named Douglas Grensted disappeared while on a hunting trip, leaving behind a wife and two young daughters. A decade later, he was declared legally dead, and Social Security paid his family about $100,000 in survivors’ benefits.
So imagine their shock when they discovered in 2016 that he had been alive all that time — and not only that, the Social Security Administration wanted its money back.
Now the daughters, both in their 60s, worry that they may lose their family home to pay for the fraud perpetrated by their father, who admitted to federal authorities that he ran off to Arizona with his mistress after faking his own death. He died in December 2015. . .
The daughters have asked the Social Security Administration to waive the debt. They were relieved when Administrative Law Judge T. Patrick Hannon ruled that her mother, Barbara Grensted, could repay the $87,000 she owed in increments of $10 per month until her death, at which point the balance would be erased.
When Mrs. Grensted died two months later at the age of 89, however, the judge reversed his ruling. In an Oct. 24 decision, he ordered the balance to be paid by her estate, which is tied up in a trust but includes the house she had long shared with her daughter Beth Grensted, 63, in Mount Hermon, California. (Read more from “Social Security Hits Kids With $100,000 Bill After ‘Dead’ Father Turns up Alive 47 Years Later” HERE)