SSI notice of overpayment could result in beneficiaries having to pay back thousands of dollars. In some instances, the Social Security Administration may make an erroneous overpayment to beneficiaries, and subsequently send an overpayment notice to reclaim the funds. If this happens, it can cause an unexpected setback of a few hundred to several thousand dollars or more.
Martha Shedden, the co-founder and president of the National Association of Registered Social Security Analysts, frequently assists clients with overpayment inquiries. On some occasions, she has encountered clients who received notifications indicating that they owe the SSI over $30,000. This can be an immense financial burden, particularly if the individual relies on these benefits programs for financial support and is experiencing a cash crunch.
What constitutes a SSI overpayment, and what are the reasons behind its occurrence?
To learn more, here’s the schedule for when the Social Security check is sent each month, as well as information on how to contact the Social Security Administration for any queries. As per the SSA, an overpayment happens when the agency disburses more funds to you than you are entitled to receive. The underlying cause of an overpayment differs, depending on the type of benefits you are receiving, such as old-age, survivors, disability, or others.
For instance, you may have begun a new job while collecting Social Security retirement benefits and neglected to inform the agency of the change in your income. Alternatively, your disability status may have changed, and you resumed work, yet you still received payments from Social Security Disability Insurance (a program intended for individuals with disabilities who cannot work).
Recipients of Supplemental Security Income
Recipients of Supplemental Security Income (a program intended for low-income elderly and individuals with disabilities) can also face overpayments for various reasons, such as an escalation in income or mistakes in the data submitted to the administration.
Some of the most frequent reasons for overpayments are:
- Getting married
- A change in living arrangements, such as a roommate moving in or out (applicable to SSI recipients)
- A child leaving home
- Commencing work
- Earning more income than the previously projected amount
- Starting to receive other benefits
- Receiving child support payments
- Receiving more income than the allowed limit for an SSI recipient
- No longer being considered disabled
- Being found guilty of a crime
Shedden clarifies that many overpayments arise from a beneficiary’s failure to inform the Social Security Administration of modifications that would impact their benefits. Furthermore, there is a possibility that a beneficiary reported these changes proactively, but the administration did not record them in its system promptly, resulting in the disbursement of the same benefit amount every month.
What are the indicators that the SSA made an overpayment to me?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will dispatch a notice to either you or your representative payee (the individual authorized to receive your benefits if you’re unable to do so). The notice will outline the overpayment amount, the reason for the overpayment, the options available to repay the excess funds, as well as your appeal and waiver rights, as specified in the SSA’s document (PDF).
Shedden recommends taking prompt action upon receipt of a notice. Thoroughly review the document, ensuring that the information, including the dates and amounts, is accurate. Read on to learn what steps to take next, whether the information is accurate or not.