SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1831. Reporting Failure to Have a Child in Care

1831.1 Is it required to report to SSA if there is no longer a child in care?

If you have rights to benefits based on having a child in care, you must report to us if you no longer have a child in your care. The mother or father must report this fact before receiving and accepting benefits for the second month following the month in which they first did not have the child in care.

1831.2 What is the penalty for failure to report no longer having a child in care?

The mother of father must report when there is no longer a child in care within the time limit. Failure to do so may result in the following penalties:

  1. For the first time the mother or father fails to report, a penalty equal to one month's benefit may be withheld;

  2. For the second time the mother or father fails to report, a penalty equal to two months' benefits may be withheld; and

  3. For the third and each subsequent failure to report, a penalty equal to three months' benefits may be withheld.

The withholding of the penalty for failure to report is in addition to the withholding of benefits because the mother or father did not have a child in care.

We cannot impose any more penalty deductions than the number of months for which deductions for failure to have a child in care were required for that period.