Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

What should you do when a social security disability or ssi overpayment occurs?

If you receive a notification from the Social Security administration that informs you that you have an overpayment, you should contact your local Social Security office immediately to determine the cause of the overpayment. There are, in fact, instances when an overpayment is posted to a record that is invalid. If this should be the case, Social Security will correct the error and you will not be obligated to repay the overpayment.

However, most overpayments are legitimate, and, accordingly, they will need to be resolved. There are many options for resolving an overpayment. For instance if you do not believe that there is an overpayment of benefits, you may file for a reconsideration of the actual overpayment.

If the overpayment amount is found to be correct, you may wish to file a request for waiver of the overpayment (repayment would not be necessary if the waiver is approved) by the Social Security Administration.

However, a waiver will generally only be approved if you were not at fault in creating the overpayment and you do not have the ability to repay the overpayment due to financial hardship. Most waivers are denied on the grounds that the individual was at fault in creating the overpayment, usually because they returned to work and did not report their earnings timely.

What other options do you have if your waiver request is denied? You may request a personal conference to discuss why you feel you should not have to repay the money.

If your personal conference is denied you may wish to file a hearing request, so that you may appear before an administrative law judge (ALJ). However, if you do request a hearing, that does not prevent Social Security from collecting the overpayment from your disability benefit in the event that you do not make a payment arrangement.

How do payment arrangements work to your benefit in such situations? If a payment arrangement is not made, Social Security may hold your entire monthly disability benefit until the overpayment is satisfied. By utilizing a payment arrangement, however, the repayment may be deducted from your monthly benefit check over a protracted period of time.

How long will you be given to repay the overpayment? Generally, Social Security would like all overpayments to be repaid within thirty-six months. If the amount is too large to be paid back in that time frame, you may file for a reduced monthly payment. You will have to provide information about your monthly income and expenses to qualify for a reduced monthly payment. Usually, though, Social Security is willing to work with you to resolve the overpayment, so as to not cause an undue financial hardship.

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    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

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    Why do social security disability and ssi overpayments happen?
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    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

    How to file for disability, SSD or SSI
    How to file for Disability and what medical conditions qualify
    How long will it take to get disability?
    What if your disability gets denied?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How to get disability with a mental condition
    How long for Social Security Disability Back pay
    Social Security Disability SSI eligibility