NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – “This page is all her dancing, “police detective and Air Force reservist Clay Regan said as he looked at pictures.
Regan is looking at his mother’s photo album. The pages are yellowed and the corners aged but it is full of color and life. He sees black and white pictures of his mom dancing throughout her childhood.
“She danced when she was 12. She taught dancing lessons since she was 12…all the way up until she clogged last time, two weeks before she passed away.”
His mother, Sue Hodges Regan, was a three-time cancer survivor who lost her battle to lung cancer last month. She depended on her monthly social security check.
“This monthly check was everything to her. She was on a fixed income. This was all she received.”
Ms. Regan died on November 5. Her October social security check deposited on November 13, but the Arlington Federal Credit Union (AFCU) sent the money back to the Social Security administration because Regan had passed away.
“I got an email that says this happens all the time. Well, if it happens all the time, review your policy,” Regan said, frustrated with the AFCU.
The CBS 11 I-Team contacted the AFCU. CEO Kyle Ashley would not talk on camera but did discuss the situation with us over the phone.
“Our goal is to resolve the situation, “ said Ashley. However, he did say, “We feel we were proper in the process we took. We haven’t taken the money. We returned it the Social Security administration. They need to remit the funds.”
Clay said his fight is not about the money. “I’m doing this for people who don’t have the financial whereabouts that I might have. For some people that might be the only money they have to bury their loved one, to make final arrangements, or to pay off final bills for their loved one.”
Now the North Texas man has started the long, drawn out process with the Security administration to get his mother’s last check back. “It’s kind of extra hurt on top of hurt. It’s hard seeing your loved one deteriorate because of cancer…and it’s hard especially in this season to go back and fight…again just to make their, their memory right.”
Regan says the Social Security Administration told him it is common for financial institutions to get confused about final checks after a person has passed away.
He wants banks to review their policies and stop automatically sending money back…and he wants others to be aware this happens.
The Social Security Administration’s own website spells out the law. Benefits are not paid for the month an individual dies. You are due payments if you lived the entire month.
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