What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
How Do You Avoid, and What causes, a Social Security Disability Overpayment?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
The most common reason for an overpayment of disability benefits is work activity on the part of the disability beneficiary. Many disability beneficiaries find that living on their disability benefits is difficult so they find a job to supplement their income. Which is perfectly fine if the social security disability and SSI guidelines about work activity are adhered to. It is important for disability beneficiaries to be aware of substantial gainful activity earnings amounts: any month in which an individual works over that limit (SGA limit), after the full utilization of their nine month trial work period, could make them ineligible for benefits.
Obviously, if the Social Security Administration pays benefits for months that a disability beneficiary was ineligible due to work activity, it causes an overpayment. For this reason it is very important to report all work activity to Social Security timely.
Another common reason for an overpayment of disability benefits is a person's entitlement to workman’s compensation benefits. If a disability beneficiary receives workman’s compensation benefits, or a workman’s compensation settlement, they should contact Social Security immediately so that Social Security can apply the proper offset to their disability benefits.
It may not seem fair, but Social Security disability benefits are offset by any public disability (i.e. California state disability benefits) or workman’s compensation benefits. If a beneficiary does not report these benefits, they will incur an overpayment with Social Security.
Reasons for an overpayment with Social Security other than those listed above that may not be the disability beneficiary’s fault are computational errors (i.e. Social Security paid the wrong amount) on the part of the Social Security Administration. These errors occur occasionally. If the disability beneficiary has no way to repay the erroneously paid disability benefits, their overpayment is waived by Social Security. However, if a disability beneficiary has the financial means to repay even an overpayment caused by Social Security, they will have to repay the erroneously paid benefits.
There are two factors that must be met for Social Security to waive repayment of an overpayment. They are A) that the individual must not be at fault in creating the overpayment and B) they must not have the financial mean to repay the overpayment.
A word of caution: if an individual’s disability benefits are ceased due to medical improvement or the performance of substantial work activity for so many months that their disability benefits were terminated, there is often a large overpayment of benefits. Social Security considers this kind of overpayment to be the fault of the disability beneficiary and expects repayment. Consequently, if a disability beneficiary wants to avoid being overpaid, they should be mindful of all work activity or entitlement to benefits such as workman’s compensation or public disability benefits.
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Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials