Q: Many years ago,
my father-in-law, an elderly man, registered me as his wife, not his son's wife, to receive payments from social security.
All this happened without my knowledge. He used to receive Social Security payments in my name and his. When he advanced in age and became unable to go get the payments himself, (Part No. 23; Page No. 483) his sons told me that he registered me as his wife. Now, I have to get the payments on his behalf. If not, everything will be discovered and we both will be subject to legal punishment. I refused to do so and was angry with them, but they insisted that I should go. Finally, I received the payments and brought them to him. I continued doing so till he died. After he died, I went to the official at the Social Security Department to hand our papers to him, but he told me they would cancel my husband's share of the payment since he died and I would receive my share only. So he refused to take my papers and I then kept receiving payment from Social Security for many years as his wife. Afterwards, I felt certain that we were doing something unlawful and so I handed my papers to the officials and insisted that they should remove my name from Social Security.Now, what should I do, especially that my name was registered without my knowledge? Do I have to return the money I have taken? It should be noted that I do not remember well how much I have taken or how to get the money back. I fear to be legally responsible for this. I appreciate your advice! May Allah reward you!
You have done well by removing your name from the Social Security. But you must return the money you received from the social security and there will be no blame on you. If you are unable to do so, you have to give this money in charity to the poor. So, do your best to give the money you have received to the poor and repent sincerely to Allah (Glorified be He) for your negligence and taking unlawful gains that you did not deserve. (Part No. 23; Page No. 484) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.