May 26, 2015
The experienced Social Security disability professionals at Disability Associates discuss the process of reporting an overpayment, including what actions to take and what mistakes to avoid.
Whether you receive benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you may receive an overpayment at some point down. If this occurs, it is important to understand how to proceed with what happens next.
Sometimes the error will be the fault of the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, overpayments usually happen because a benefit recipient fails to notify the SSA of a change. The following modifications affect eligibility and/or monthly benefits:
- Improvement in your medical condition
- Changes in income or financial resources (if you are still working)
- An increase in hours of work (if you are still working)
- Adjustments in your living situation/family status (predominantly for SSI recipients)
Stay in contact with the SSA regarding any changes that may or may not affect your benefit payments. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Catch Overpayments Early
Discovering an overpayment was easier in the past. Today, SSD payments are issued electronically as automatic deposits, so be mindful of constantly checking your amount of monthly benefits.
Funds may be transferred to your bank account or a benefit card. Either way, it is important you detect overpayments as they happen so you are not spending the additional funds.
When the SSA finds an error, they’ll immediately demand you repay the money, though repaying the amount overtime may be an option. Be sure to monitor your benefit payments so paying back the SSA is an easier process for you and for everyone involved.
Reporting an Overpayment
If you notice your benefit amount is larger than usual, contact the SSA to verify that your benefits are accurate before spending the additional funds. It may be a good idea to call the SSA to express your concerns over the change of your benefit amount. Hold the extra funds in reserve, just in case the SSA representative cannot give you an answer about whether or not there was an overpayment right away.
When an Overpayment Happens
The SSA will investigate your concerns and determine if there was an overpayment. If they find there was an overpayment, you’ll receive a notice that includes:
- The overpayment amount
- The reason for the overpayment
- The repayment terms (normally a 30-day due date for repayment)
- The process for making the payment arrangements, requesting a waiver as a result of financial hardship and appealing the determination of the overpayment if it was not your error
In most cases, the SSA will expect repayment of any funds issued to you over the benefits you were entitled to receive. Seeking assistance from a Social Security attorney may greatly benefit your situation, especially if you have not immediately realized an overpayment occurred.
For more information about Social Security overpayments, contact the experienced Social Security disability professionals at Disability Associates in Maryland today.