How Do I Handle a Social Security Overpayment?

Take Action to Avoid Being Overpaid

To  avoid being overpaid,  report all changes to your financial, marital, or living situation to Social Security. Also, inform Social Security if your disability has improved to the extent that you are attempting to work.

If you notice a change in the amount of your monthly checks and you did not receive an explanation from Social Security, call Social Security right away to make sure you are receiving the correct amount. 

What Happens When I receive a Notice of Overpayment?

If Social Security has found that you were overpaid, they will mail you a Notice of Overpayment.  The notice will have an explanation of why you have been overpaid, your repayment options, and your appeal and “waiver” rights.

First, check the notice information carefully. Are the dates and payment amounts correct or not? You have 60 days from the date on the notice to act by filing an appeal.  If you request a waiver within 30 days from the date of the notice, Social Security will not start to withhold any part of your benefits. Otherwise, if you do not take action,  Social Security will  take money out of your checks to repay the claimed overpayment amount. 

If you do not believe you have been overpaid or you disagree with the amount of overpayment, you can appeal. The appeal must explain why you believe you have not been overpaid or that the amount of overpayment is wrong.

If you agree that you were overpaid, you can still ask Social Security to waive the overpayment so that you don’t have to pay it back. Ask for a waiver if the overpayment was not your fault, and you cannot afford to pay the money back. Use form   SSA-632-BK to request a waiver. If Social Security denies waiver of the overpayment, you can appeal. 

If you agree that the overpayment was your fault or you can afford to pay it back, you can make a payment arrangement with Social Security to pay the money back a little at a time. That repayment arrangement would be based on how much of your income you need for your basic necessities. 

When you ask for either a waiver of the overpayment or request a payment arrangement, Social Security will require you to complete a financial statement.  You may need to provide some documents to support your financial statement.

Whenever you talk to a Social Security employee, write down their name, the date, and a summary of the conversation. 

How Does COVID-19 Impact My Overpayment?

Beginning on March 17, 2020, due to the COVID-19 emergency, Social Security stopped taking actions that could have resulted in a reduction, suspension, or termination of benefits or payments.  Since corrections to benefit payments were not made during this timeframe due to COVID-19, overpayments resulted.   

In an interim final rule, effective August 27, 2020, Social Security acknowledged that it would be against equity and good conscience to collect overpayments made between March 1 to September 30, 2020, and those who did incur an overpayment during this period are without fault. See https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-08-27/pdf/2020-18834.pdf.  If you receive an overpayment notice during this time period, file a request for waiver since Social Security has already stated that a person who had incurred an overpayment during this timeframe is without fault.

Contact a Disability Lawyer for Help

If you get an overpayment notice from Social Security and need help, contact a disability lawyer.

When a disability lawyer at Cardea Disability, LLC represents you, we show our commitment by providing you with information, guidance, and support at every step.  For a free consultation, contact a disability lawyer at Cardea Disability, LLC at 334-440-6261 and visit our website at https://cardeadisabilityllc.com.