Social Security Disability RC

How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
Social Security Disability list of impairments
How to Qualify for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyers FAQ, Disability Back Pay

How Do You Avoid, and What causes, a Social Security Disability Overpayment?

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.

Essential Questions

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Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

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Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

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Related pages:

Social Security Disability Appeal Attorney Fees
Can you get disability the first time you apply?
Should I get a lawyer for my disability hearing for SSD or SSI?
What should you do when a Social Security Disability or ssi overpayment occurs?
How Do You Avoid, and What causes, a Social Security Disability Overpayment?
Why do Social Security Disability and ssi overpayments happen?
Social Security made a mistake and assessed an overpayment and stopped benefits
Social Security Disability Waiver of Overpayment
When happens when a person that has been receiving SSD monthly payments dies?
Eligibility and Qualifications for Disability in Illinois
Disability denial in Illinois, when to get a lawyer

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.