When an overpayment of Social Security disability benefits occurs, you are expected to return the funds back to the Social Security Administration, or SSA. However, if the funds are not returned and the agency realizes its mistake, your benefits could be impacted until the agency receives the funds back. If you have received notice of an overpayment, here is what you need to know.
What Will the Social Security Administration Do?
Once the overpayment is realized by the SSA, you will receive notice of the mistake. If you are still receiving disability payments, the agency can withhold your entire check each month until all of the overpaid funds are recovered.
The SSA allows a 30-day period in which you can take steps to settle the issue if you want to avoid withholding. Time is of the essence, so it is important that you take action immediately.
What Can You Do?
If you do not agree with the overpayment or the amount that the SSA is claiming that you owe, you can file an appeal with the agency. In your appeal to the agency, you must detail why you do not owe the funds or why the amount is incorrect.
In the event that you agree that you owe the overpayment or the agency denies your appeal, you can either negotiate with the agency or request a waiver. In order to receive a waiver, you have to prove that the overpayment was not caused by your actions and that if you have to pay it back, you could face financial hardship.
If you opt to negotiate with the SSA for a payment plan, there are restrictions on what the agency is willing to negotiate. For instance, the SSA will not negotiate with you regarding any of the overpaid funds that you still have in your possession. Any money that is in your bank account that can be traced back to the overpayment has to be returned to the SSA immediately.
If the overpayment was the result of criminal actions, such as fraud, you cannot negotiate a payment plan. However, if none of these situations exist, you can negotiate for a repayment plan that will allow you the time to pay back what you owe.
Experienced attorneys, like those at Crowley Ahlers & Roth Co LPA, can help you decide which course of action would work best for your situation. Attorneys can help with every aspect of handling the overpayment from negotiating to filing an appeal.