Have you received a notice of disability overpayment? Though this does not happen often, it is possible for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to overpay those receiving disability payments. If this occurs, the individual will need to repay what was overpaid, or appeal and file a waiver of overpayment.
How Do Overpayments Occur?
SSI and SSDI overpayments can occur for various reasons. Most of the time, it occurs because the SSA has incorrect information or does not have accurate information. When this occurs, and too much is paid to a recipient, it needs to be repaid. Here are a few examples of why this may occur.
No Longer Disabled: If a person is considered no longer disabled, for any reason, and he or she continues to receive disability payments, this can lead to the need to repay the amount overpaid, based on the date the individual was no longer considered disabled.
Failure to Report Income: A Social Security overpayment notice may occur if a person fails to report their income to the SSA. If you earn income for any reason, you must, legally, reporting the amount to the SSA. You may receive an overpayment notice if you have reported that income, but they did not put that information into the system in time to avoid the notice.
Failure to Report Other Disability: Some people may receive a secondary form of disability, such as from Workers Compensation claims. When this happens, you must report that income to the SSA. If you fail to do so, they may cancel your disability payments and send a notice of overpayment.
Earning Too Much: Some people who work through a Trial Work Period may earn too much during that time. If you are in the Ticket to Work program, this can still happen. If you earn too much, the SSA may send you a notice of overpayment due to your other income.
Has Your Health Changed?
For those who are receiving disability, it is critical to ensure you keep the SSA up to date on your health conditions. If you fail to do so for any reason, you may be unable to continue to receive your disability. For example, you may be receiving disability while you wait for an organ transplant. Once you receive it, you must continue to meet the standards set by the SSA to continue your disabled label. If you are deemed healthy enough to work, then you may see SSI overpayments occur.
When this happens, it’s best to speak to your disability lawyers. You should also work with your attorney at any time that the SSA requests verification of your disability from your doctors or requires you to go through a screening process. The key here is that you need to know what your rights are.
What Happens If You Have an Overpayment?
SSDI overpayments are a serious notification. The SSA can take up to 100 percent of your check to repay the amount you’ve been overpaid. They have the ability to cancel your payments if they deem you are no longer disabled, are somehow abusing the system, or if you are working and earning more than is allowable.
If the SSA says they will stop your payments, the disability overpayment will have to be paid back by you. You have the right to appeal this decision in most cases. You can appeal any instance in which they aim to stop your benefits by filing a Request for Reconsideration.
What Can Be Done About Social Security Overpayment?
With SSI overpayments, you have the ability to file a request for an appeal, as noted. If you believe you were not overpaid, this is the most important first step to take. You have 65 days from the date of Notice of Social Security Overpayment to do this. The Request for Reconsideration is Form SSA-561. You will need to explain why you think this is an error.
If you received SSDI overpayments – and you were overpaid, but it was not your fault, you can apply for a waiver. There’s no deadline to do so, but it should be done right away. Once you file this, stop using your funds from SSDI if they continue to come for you.