What Will Social Security Do When It Finds an Overpayment?

Published on October 18th, 2019

A Social Security overpayment happens when a person receiving disability benefits experiences an increase in their resources and/or income, gets married or changes their living situation without informing the Social Security Administration. Rarely does the SSA inadvertently make errors when issuing monthly benefits. Instead, it is typically the fault of the individual receiving benefits. When this happens, the SSA mails a notice of overpayment detailing how much was overpaid and instructing the person to remit excess benefits within one month of getting the overpayment notice.

social security overpayment attorney

Can a Notice of Overpayment be Appealed?

Yes. If you disagree with the SSA about an overpayment amount or do not believe the overpayment was your fault, you can appeal the notice. After evaluating the evidence you submit, the SSA may waive the overpayment or reduce the amount you owe. However, if the SSA stands by their claim of overpaying disability benefits, they will typically agree to establishing a payment plan so you can avoid financial hardship.

The form you need to file to appeal a Social Security overpayment is called a “Request for Reconsideration”. You have 60 days to file this appeal upon receiving a notice of overpayment. If the SSA denies your appeal, you have another 60 days to file a hearing request with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

The Social Security’s Appeals Council is the last option you have when an ALJ denies your appeal. Again, you have 60 days to file an appeal with the Appeals Council. Most people receiving a Social Security overpayment settle the matter with the SSA. If your overpayment is more than $1000, it is always a good idea to hire a Social Security overpayment attorney to manage the appeals process.

What Can a Social Security Overpayment Attorney Do for You?

In addition to providing a good case about why you shouldn’t have to repay an overpayment, your attorney can also negotiate an acceptable compromise or establish a reasonable repayment schedule so you don’t experience financial stress. As a last resort, a Social Security overpayment attorney may have substantial overpayments discharged in bankruptcy court.

If you have received a notice of overpayment from the Social Security Administration, contact the Law Office of Mary Jean Ellis for immediate legal assistance.


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