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Disability Overpayment what are my options?

Claimants who are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are required to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) if they experience a life-event change (i.e., death of a spouse, divorce, child moves out of the home, increase in child support or remarriage). They should also notify the SSA if they have decided to return to work. Failure to notify the SSA about events that may affect a disability payment can result in disability overpayment.


If the SSA determines you have a disability overpayment, they will send you a notice which outlines how you have been overpaid and your disability overpayment repayment options. If you believe the disability overpayment notice is in error you can appeal the decision or you can ask for a waiver.

Steps the SSA will take to collect the disability overpayment

If you can prove, through the appeal process, that the overpayment is incorrect, or you file a waiver for repayment and prove that the repayment amount would cause undue financial hardship, you may be able to avoid repaying the overpayment.

If, however, the waiver is not granted and you are not able to win your appeal, you will have to repay the disability overpayment. How the money will be repaid will vary on the type of benefit you are currently receiving.

Supplemental Security Income repayment for a disability overpayment

If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income the SSA will withhold 10% of your benefit payment until the full amount is paid. The calculated payment is based on the maximum SSI rate, which is referred to as the federal benefit rate (FBR). This amount varies each year, but in 2015, it is $733. The 10% benefit repayment will be calculated from this rate even if you receive less than the FBR each month.

Social Security Disability Insurance repayment for a disability overpayment

If you currently receive SSDI benefits the SSA will withhold the full amount of your SSDI check until the disability overpayment is repaid.

With both SSI and SSDI overpayment plans you may have some flexibility in the amount of the repayment if you contact the SSA and request to have less than the standard amount withheld each month.

No longer receiving disability how can I repay my disability overpayment?

If you have returned to work and you are no longer receiving any type of SSDI or SSI benefit the SSA will still expect repayment. They will give you 30 days following the overpayment notice to send payment. You may also contact them and request a repayment plan.

As mentioned above, if you believe the overpayment notice was sent in error or you have a valid reason to request a waiver, you need to take the proper steps to appeal the overpayment.

Enforcement options available to the SSA

Like other creditors, the SSA has options to force current and past recipients to repay debts owed. In fact, they may be able to garnish your work wages and/or federal tax refunds. As mentioned above, if you currently receive SSDI or SSI they will simply garnish those checks. If you do not make timely payments they will also report your non-payment to each of the credit bureaus, which may lower your credit score.

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