It’s possible that you could receive an overpayment from the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you are receiving benefits. When you receive an overpayment, it is up to you to notify the SSA to resolve the situation.
What is an Overpayment?
Simply speaking, an overpayment means you received more money in a month than you should have been awarded. The overpayment is the difference between the amount you received compared to the amount owed.
What Causes an Overpayment?
A variety of causes can cause an overpayment including:
-Actual income is more than you estimated
-Changes in your living situation
-Changes in your marital status
-You continue to receive benefits after your disability ran out
-Benefits were incorrectly calculated because of incorrect or incomplete information
SSA will send a notification that explains the overpayment and ask for a full refund within 30 days. The notice describes the action taken if the refund is not made in its entirety. SSA may withhold the overpayment at the rate of the lesser of 10 percent or the entire monthly payment. The notice will state the month that the proposed withholding will start and explain how you can appeal the decision. You may also ask SSA to review and waive the overpayment, which means you would not have to pay the overpayment back.
If you believe you received the overpayment notice in error, you can request a reconsideration. As long as you ask for an appeal within 10 days after you receive the notice, SSA will continue to make payments until a final determination is made.
You can also request for a waiver of the overpayment and complete the form SSA-632 if you believe you were not at fault for the overpayment. If the waiver is granted, you will not have to repay all or a portion of the overpayment. You must show that it was not your fault that you were overpaid and that you cannot pay back the overpayment because you need the money for standard living expenses. It’s possible you may need to submit bills to prove financial hardship.
What if the Waiver is Denied?
If your request for a waiver is denied, you will have to pay back the overpayment or have it withheld from your money benefits. There are several repayment options including withholding a proposed amount each month or making monthly payments if you are no longer receiving benefits.