• Christopher Le

How does an Overpayment affect my Social Security Disability Benefits?

Social Security overpayments can occur when there are changes in your circumstances or maybe Social Security had insufficient information. If Social Security accidentally overpays you and discovers its an error, they will send you a notice of the overpayment. The notice of overpayment typically includes an explanation of why you have been overpaid, your repayment options, and your appeal rights.


How Social Security Collects Their Overpayment

The repayment options depend on the type of social security benefit you are receiving.

  • SSDI: If you were overpaid Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and are currently receiving SSDI benefits, SSA will withhold the entire and full amount of your monthly check each month until the overpayment is paid in full. You may contact SSA and request that they only withhold a certain percentage but that request must be then approved by SSA.

  • SSI: If you were overpaid Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, 10% of your monthly benefit will be withheld each month to repay the overpayment. (The 10% withholding is usually calculated on the federal maximum benefit rate ($794 in 2021), even if you normally receive more or less than that.) This withholding will start no earlier than 60 days after you receive the notice of overpayment and will last until the overpayment is paid off. You can contact the SSA to request that more or less money be withheld; such requests must be approved by the SSA to be implemented.

  • SSDI and SSI: If you were overpaid SSI benefits but you only receive SSDI benefits, only 10% of your monthly SSDI benefits will be withheld.

  • No longer receiving benefits. If you are no longer receiving any benefits, you must:

  • send a check for the full amount to the SSA within 30 days, or

  • call SSA to set up a monthly payment plan.


What happens if you cant repay SSA?

If you cant repay the overpayment that is owed to SSA, some of the actions the SSA may take include:

  • Taking your full federal income tax refund

  • Taking a percentage from monthly paycheck if you are back at work

  • Taking future SSI or SSDI benefits, or

  • Report your nonpayment to the credit bureau.

Your Appeal and Waiver Rights

If you receive notice that you have been overpaid and you want to dispute that, you can file an appeal. The appeal must state why you believe you have not been overpaid or that the amount of overpayment is incorrect. If you receive an overpayment notice and you agree with the overpayment but that you should not have to pay the money back to the SSA, you may file a waiver. The waiver must prove that the overpayment was not your fault AND that repaying the overpayment would cause financial hardship to you. If you file an appeal or waiver, SSA will not take money out of your monthly Social Security benefits until SSA decides whether the appeal or waiver will be granted. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to our office at 210-885-3408.

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