Social Security overpayment: Can I sue SSA?

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"Hello, I just got an overpayment notice in the mail. The over payments were not my fault. I have already done the paperwork to waive the overpayment reimbursement. The story goes like this. I applied for SSD in 2004. I got an attorney to handle my case. I gave the initial paperwork to the SSA in the N.J. Sommerville Office with my workmans' comp info the attorney did his part with the paperwork also. I claimed my son as a dependent child and me as his representative payee.

After about three years, I won my case and got my retroactive award & monthly SSD benefits. On June 2012 I realized my son was not getting his SDD. I inquired at the Pennsylvania SSA office about my sons benefits. The SSA rep told me that the paperwork was not processed and/or lost in the system for 8 years. I then reapplied or continued the claim for my son as his Rep payee and I again handed in my workmans' comp info and after two months I got his retroactive done and the claim was approved.

However, I also got a letter about over payments since 2005 or 2004 due to SSA negligence in handling my sons rep payee claim. So now I am appealing the decision and requesting a waver of the 75K overpayment. Now my SSD is down from 2050 to 712 a month causing me sever financial hardship. I was lead to believe that all was ok until this overpayment stuff happened.

Question is, can I sue the SSA for negligence for causing me catastrophic financial hardship because of their negligence in losing my initial rep payee claim for 8 years despite me giving the SSA all my workmans' comp papers in 2004. Now collections, foreclosure, bankruptcy and liens are imminent because of me losing 1,338.00 dollars in SSD benefits"


This is a difficult question. It appears that your Social Security monthly benefits are now being offset because of workman's compensation benefits that are being received, or benefits previously received either as weekly benefits or weekly benefits then a settlement.

If your lawyer did the right thing, they would have included a clincher statement that prorated any kind of settlement over your lifetime so that there would be minimal ongoing affect on your monthly Social Security benefits.

If you are still receiving WC benefits it is proper that your monthly Social Security disability benefits are reduced or offset.

As to your child's benefits not sure what happen there. Also children's benefits are offset for WC as well. Generally, dependent benefits are reduced an worker's benefit is increased with the entitlement of a child when WC is involved.

Hopefully, you can get your overpayment waived, however you may have to pursue it all the way to an administrative law judge hearing. The problem here is that you have to be able to prove that you provided the information to Social Security and that is often difficult even if you did so. Workman's Compensation entitlement causes many overpayments. I would just say if they deny you waiver appeal that decision to a judge if necessary and bring whatever proof you can to the hearing if need be.

Lastly, it is not easy to sue Social Security for any of this kind of thing. The burden of proof, unfortunately, is on your shoulders not Social Security.







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This page contains a single entry by SSDRC published on August 20, 2013 2:43 PM.

If they fail to appeal the decision, they will lose their eligibility to apply again for adult disabled child benefits was the previous entry in this blog.

Sometimes doctors are hostile to disability claims is the next entry in this blog.

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