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Social Security Disability Overpayments

If you have been notified that you have a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and not only have your disability benefits been terminated or suspended, you OWE money to the Social Security Administration you may be shocked and you may need information about what to do next. First, let’s talk about what an overpayment is according to the Social Security Administration.

What is a Social Security Disability Overpayment?

A Social Security Disability overpayment can happen if the amount you received for your Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance payment is more than the amount you were due. How can this happen? According to the Social Security Administration, a disability overpayment can happen for any of the following reasons:

• Your income is higher than you estimated (SSI overpayment only)
• Your living situation has changed. (SSI overpayment only)
• Your marital status has changed (SSI overpayment only)
• You have more resources than the allowable limit (SSI overpayment only)
• You are no longer disabled and you continue to receive disability payments
• You do not report a change in your income as required
• The Social Security Administration miscalculated your payment information because incorrect or incomplete information was given to them.

If you have been overpaid, the SSA will notify you or the representative payee and the notice will explain the reason the overpayment occurred, the amount of the overpayment and the repayment options. If you do not believe the overpayment is valid, you have the right to appeal.

If you agree with the overpayment

If you acknowledge the overpayment and you are receiving SSDI, the SSA will withhold the full amount of the disability benefit payment each month until the overpayment is repaid. Some claimants may be able to request that the SSA withhold only a portion of the SSDI amount, but this request must be approved by the SSA. The repayment plan would start 30 days from the date you have been notified of the overpayment.

If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income the SSA will withhold 10% of the maximum Federal Benefit Rate unless you request that less be subtracted each month. You may also ask to repay the back pay at a higher rate each month. SSI overpayments will be made 60 days after notification.

If you disagree with the overpayment amount

What if you do not believe you have received an overpayment? The SSA allows you to file a SSA-561 form to contest the overpayment. The form can be downloaded from the SSA website or you can call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213.

All appeals must clearly state why you do not think you have been overpaid. Appeals must be made within 60 days from the date of the overpayment notice.

You may be able to win your overpayment appeal if you can prove:

1. The overpayment was not your fault.
2. Paying the overpayment would cause you severe financial hardship.

The Social Security Administration may request proof of your income and expenses.

Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you would like a Social Security Disability attorney to review your Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance overpayment, you can fill out the FREE evaluation form and a disability advocate will call you to review your claim or you can call our office at 1-800-641-3759 to talk to someone now.