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What Will Social Security Do When It Finds an Overpayment?

March 25, 2019

A Social Security overpayment occurs when changes to a recipient’s circumstances, such as employment or access to new resources, are not provided to the SSA in time to adjust monthly benefits. If the SSA thinks it has overpaid you, they will send a notice via mail about the overpayment that contains information regarding why you were overpaid. In some cases, social security beneficiaries have lawyers who provide representation when problems with the SSA arise. A Social Security overpayment attorney will receive notices of overpayment instead of the beneficiary.

How Does the SSA Collect Overpayments?

Overpayments to SSDI recipients are collected by withholding a monthly benefit check until an overpayment is paid in full. Withholdings begin 30 days after the beneficiary has received a notice in the mail about a Social Security overpayment. In cases of financial emergency, the SSA may approve requests to withhold smaller amounts.

Overpayments to SSI recipients are handled differently than SSDI overpayments. If you receive SSI, the Social Security Administration will withhold 10 percent of your monthly benefits. Withholdings for SSI overpayments begin about 60 days after the recipient has received notice in the mail about the overpayment.

If you stop receiving benefits but receive notice of an overpayment, you must either send a check covering the overpayment or call the SSA to make arrangements for repaying the overpayment.

What Happens to People Who Do Not Repay a Social Security Overpayment?

The SSA has several options:

  • They can take your federal or state refund check
  • They can garnish your wages
  • They can withhold future SSDI or SSI benefits
  • They can report nonpayments for overpayments to the credit bureau

The only time a person may be prosecuted and jailed for an overpayment is if the SSA can prove outright fraud on the part of the beneficiary.

How Can a Social Security Overpayment Attorney Help?

If you have received a notice of overpayment from the SSA and disagree with the ruling or amount overpaid, the attorneys at Decker Law Office can appeal your case if the information you provide warrants a social security overpayment appeal. Call today to learn more about appealing and winning your social security overpayment case.