How Disability Recipients Can Prevent and Manage Overpayments

July 2, 2020
Dayes Law Firm

Regardless if you receive a monthly disability payment through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you may be overpaid at any given time. Overpayments occur when disability recipients receive more funds from the Social Security Administration (SSA) than the amount they should have been paid. You will be liable to pay back any extra funds received.

Below, we discuss why an SSDI or SSI overpayment can happen and what you can do to avoid it affecting your disability benefits. An initial consultation is free with no obligation to hire our firm.

Preventing a Disability Overpayment

Sometimes an overpayment can happen due to a clerical error on the SSA’s side, however it happens more often because a disability recipient does not inform the SSA about a change in his or her situation.

Certain changes that could affect your eligibility or monthly benefit amount include the following:

  • Your medical condition has improved
  • Your work hours increased, if able to still work in some capacity
  • Your income or resources increased over the limit, if collecting SSI
  • You have had an adjustment in your living situation or marital status

This is why it is important to remain in constant communication with the SSA about any changes that may affect your monthly benefit payments. If you are unsure about anything, we recommend speaking with an SSA representative for clarification. The last thing you want is owing overpaid funds.

Catching an Overpayment When It Happens

Being able to catch an overpayment used to be a bit easier when benefits were mailed in check form. Monthly disability payments are now electronically distributed as an automatic deposit into your banking account or a benefit card. Disability recipients must be more vigilant checking their disability payments each month and catching overpayments as they happen to avoid spending extra funds.

When an overpayment happens, any extra funds received must be given back. The SSA will send you a notice detailing how much you were overpaid and why you are not eligible for these funds. The agency will also ask that you repay the extra funds within a 30-day period of receiving the notice. Depending on your situation, a payment plan may be allowed.

Reporting an Overpayment to the SSA

If your monthly benefit amount is higher than usual, it is in your best interest to reach out to an SSA representative to make sure that your benefit amount is correct. Should there be an overpayment and you are still receiving benefits, the SSA will hold a portion or all of your monthly disability payments until you have fully repaid the extra funds.

Even if an overpayment notice is accurate, but you refuse to pay it back because it was not your fault, you may be able to file a waiver. The waiver needs to state that the overpayment was due to an error on the SSA’s side and that having to pay back the extra funds would cause financial hardships.

Disability recipients who believe they were not overpaid or disagree with the amount of overpayment due also have the right to file an appeal. The appeal needs to state the reason you believe you were not overpaid or that the overpayment amount is incorrect. If a waiver request or appeal is denied, a Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyer from our firm is prepared to help identify your next steps.

It is important to note that failing to pay back an overpayment without filing a waiver or an appeal could result in the SSA collecting these funds from your federal tax return, garnishing your wages, or withholding funds from any Social Security retirement benefits when you reach retirement age.

Our Disability Lawyers Are Here to Help

Need assistance dealing with an overpayment issue?

Our lawyers at Dayes Law Firm are here to help in any way possible. We have decades of experience helping disability recipients keep or obtain the benefits they need by applying or appealing a decision.

You are not obligated to hire our firm even after receiving a free case review. There are also no upfront fees involved to utilize our legal services unless we are successful in helping you obtain a recovery.

Contact our office 24/7 day or night at 1-800-503-2000.