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What Happens If SSD Accidentally Overpays Me? Am I Responsible for Paying Them Back?

Older couple opening a SSID check

One scenario that sometimes, although not very often, that occurs is that someone who is on Social Security Disability (SSD) may accidentally be paid too much due to some sort of error at the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSD payments are awarded based on a fixed amount, so you can generally expect that whatever amount you are initially approved for will continue for as long as you receive, with periodic adjustments made along the way for the cost of living. Nevertheless, sometimes mistakes do occur, and you may find that your check is larger one month for reasons you are not quite clear about. The important thing to keep in mind if this happens to you is that it occurred through no fault of your own and, even if the SSA does withhold your benefits in the future to recoup these monies, there will be no penalties assessed against you for something that was not your fault.

Mistakes Happen, Even with Automated Processes

Mistakes can happen, even in automated processes like the payment of SSD benefits. The SSA, like some other federal government agencies, utilizes software and computer systems that often are decades out of date, so it is little to no surprise when those systems occasionally fail, and someone receives too much in SSD benefits payments for a period of time.

If I Am Overpaid, Am I In Trouble? Do I Have to Pay That Money Back?

If you are accidentally overpaid by the SSA, then it is not your fault. The SSA typically eventually will notice its mistake, and then you will receive correspondence in the mail from the SSA alerting you they caught their mistake, that they intend to correct it, and advising that you have the right to either request a review or waiver of the repayment.

By law, the SSA is required to give you thirty days' notice before they seek to withhold some of the money that you have been approved for in SSD benefits in the event you exercise your rights to seek a review or waiver. You will not be charged some sort of penalty because of an error that was not yours.

Instead, what will occur is that the SSA will withhold the amount of your benefits until the total overpayment is paid back. Therefore, if you were approved for $2,000 in monthly SSD benefits but were somehow mistakenly overpaid $8,000 over a period, then you will receive notice in the mail that the SSA noticed its mistake and it is planning to withhold your benefits in full until the $8,000 is paid back. You can request that the SSA withhold less than the full amount of your benefits or take longer for you to payback the amount, but this must be approved by SSA on a case by case basis.

Talk to The Experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman

The experienced SSD attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman have counseled many clients who have been in strange situations like if the SSA accidentally overpays them. We want to be there for you even after your application for benefits is approved. We can answer questions like what to do if you have been overpaid and coach you through such problems and scenarios and, if necessary, assist you in fighting the SSA trying to correct its own mistake at your expense. If you live in the Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, or Roanoke, Virginia, areas and need assistance determining if you qualify for the SSD benefits, what your expected monthly benefit would be if you qualify for benefits, filing your SSD application, or filing an appeal, please contact Kalfus & Nachman PC by phone at (855) 880-8163 or through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation today.

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