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How To Appeal Social Security Overpayment

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Notice Of Overpayment: Basic Requirements

Overpayments of Social Security Benefits

Notice in Writing

SSA must issue a written notice to the current or former recipient when it asserts that the person has been overpaid benefits. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.502a, 416.558.

Notice Must Explain Basis for Overpayment

The Notice of Overpayment is required to explain the basis of SSAs decision. 20 C.F.R. § 404.502a provides the notice must include he overpayment amount and how and when it occurred. . 20 C.F.R. § 416.558 requires notice of the correct and incorrect amounts for each month in the period period will be sent to the individual against whom adjustment or recovery . .

Notice Must Include Certain Rights

The Notice must inform the person who has been overpaid of the right to file a request for reconsideration to challenge the overpayment as well as to file a request for waiver of collection of the overpayment. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.502a 416.558 .

Fee Petitions For Overpayment Cases

When attorneys do take overpayment cases, they will usually have you sign a fee petition agreeing to pay an hourly fee for the time that they spend working on your case. Then, when the case is over, the lawyer has to petition Social Security to approve the fee. Social Security will consider a number of factors when deciding whether a particular fee is fair, including the outcome of the case and the level of skill that was required to handle the case. Social Security can approve the attorney’s fee petition request, disapprove it, or modify the fee to a lower amount.

Getting Social Security to approve the fee is an additional step that some disability attorneys do not want to bother with, and so they just decide that they will not do overpayment cases.

How Do Overpayments Occur

  • Increases in earned or unearned income that isnt reported to SSA
  • Changes in living situation or marital status
  • Having more resources than the allowable limit
  • An error in calculating the benefit amount due to incorrect or incomplete information at SSA

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Using Your Banks Online Bill Pay Option To Make Your Payment

A second option is to use your banks online bill pay feature to repay overpayment debt and have it applied to your overpayment balance the next day. Only people who are not currently receiving Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income payments may use this service. This way your payment will not be delayed.

Follow these steps:

  • Using your bank or financial institutions online bill pay option, search for Social Security Administration as the Payee.
  • Enter the Remittance ID found on your billing notice as your Account Number as well as your provided Social Security mailing address.
  • Enter the desired repayment amount and indicate whether you would like it to be a recurring payment.
  • If you do not want a recurring payment, enter the desired repayment amount each time we send you a notice until the overpayment has been paid in full.
  • Follow the remaining prompts to complete your payment.

These new payment offerings provide secure and convenient online options to meet your needs. Please share this information with your friends and familyand post it on social media.

How Can I Prevent Overpayment Problems


Remember to report changes in your income or living arrangements to SSA in writing, if possible. If you call, make a note of the date and the person you spoke to. Also remember to report any changes which may reduce your expenses . If you receive a check for an amount that is different than what you normally receive, call SSA to inform them.

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Making A Payment Arrangement

If you have lost all of your appeals or have decided not to appeal any further, you must pay the money back. You can tell SSA that you want to repay it in small amounts each month that you can afford. SSA can withhold all of your Social Security benefits to repay the overpayment. However, unless there is fraud involved, they will usually let you pay it back in smaller amounts. You will have to pay back at least $10.00 a month. SSA tries to get the money back within 3 years. If you want to ask SSA to withhold smaller amounts, you have to fill out the same form you would fill out for requesting waiver.

Social Security Disability Appeal Letter Sample

Deborah Williams

Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311

To Whom It May Concern,

I filed for Social Security Disability on August 17. 2020. I received the official denial letter and want to appeal the decision made by the board.

I have currently been diagnosed with morbid obesity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, osteoarthritis, Panic and Anxiety Disorder.

Those who reviewed my previous application stated that I should be able to find some sort of job without any issue.

However, according to the reports that I have attached, finding a job would be very difficult with my size and level of energy, not to mention mental health issues.

I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 2015 after a bout with Mononucleosis. I was left unable to do activities and to work longer than four hours without being exhausted.

Due to the panic and anxiety disorder, I am not longer able to travel back and forth to work, or drive any further than our small town. I have become a prisoner in my own home.

While I have tried to find small jobs to do online, I am unable to support my family with the small amounts of money I have been able to receive from online jobs.

Attached are new reports from two separate doctors who have evaluated me. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me anytime at 555-980-7840. I thank you for reviewing the new documentation and reviewing the already sent information.


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Option #: Submit A Request For Reconsideration Within 60 Days

You have 60 days to submit a reconsideration request, but youre better off appealing it within the first 10 days. If you do, the SSA wont make any balance recovery attempts until after reviewing your file. Waiting any longer gives the SSA time to begin their overpayment recovery process. This process usually involves reducing or eliminating your monthly benefits until you repay the full amount you owe. So if youre just barely getting by each month, file your appeal during that initial 10-day window!

Heres everything you need to know before you request a reconsideration from the SSA:

  • You must understand exactly why the SSA believes they overpaid you. While your Social Security overpayment letter may list a reason why you owe it, it might be unclear to you. The best way to understand why you received this letter is to speak with someone at your local SSA office. In fact, you can ask to see your own file and information used to calculate your Social Security overpayment amount. We can also connect you with a disability attorney who can answer your Social Security overpayment questions for free.
  • Once you understand why the SSA sent you this notice, request a reconsideration within 60 days. Along with the Request for Reconsideration Form 561, write a letter explaining why you believe this Social Security overpayment isnt accurate. Also, make a copy of your overpayment letter to include with your reply and keep the original for your records.
  • Choosing An Attorney With A Track Record Of Success

    Social Security Overpayments [How to Fix]

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    What Can I Do If I Am Overpaid

    The Notice of Overpayment will tell you how much you were overpaid. It will tell you to send the money back in 30 days.

    Don’t panic! The first thing to do is read the Notice carefully.

    • Is the information on it correct?
    • Are the amounts and dates correct?

    Try to figure out if you were really overpaid the amount SSA says.

    After you have figured out what the Notice says, there are several different ways to deal with it. You can do any one of these things or more than one at the same time. Here are your choices:

    • Ask for Reconsideration. This is an appeal. It means you want SSA to look at your case again. Ask for a reconsideration if you think the amount of the overpayment is wrong or that the reason SSA gave for the overpayment is wrong.
    • Ask for a Waiver. If you agree that you were overpaid, you can still ask SSA to waive it so that you don’t have to pay it back. Ask for a waiver if you think that the overpayment was not your fault, and you can’t afford to pay the money back.
    • Ask for a Payment Arrangement. Do this if you think that the overpayment was your fault or you can afford to pay it back. You can tell SSA that you want to pay the money back a little at a time. That amount would be based on how much of your income you need for your basic necessities.

    Is There A Time Limit For Filing These Requests

    Follow the time limits given in your Notice of Overpayment. Generally, you have only 60 days from the date of the Notice of Overpayment to file a Request for Reconsideration. If your request is late, tell them what good cause reason you have. However, you may file a Request for a Waiver at any time.

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    Writing A Social Security Disability Appeal Letter

    Living with a disability can be overwhelming. The ability to not be able to work and provide for a family is devastating for most.

    While the Social Security Administration does provide payments for those who are approved under the disability clause of the government system, it can be a chore to get an approval letter.

    What Can I Do To Try To Avoid An Overpayment


    You must report to SSA anytime you go to work or change jobs. Also, report any change in your monthly income from work. When you report, ask for a receipt or keep some kind of proof that you reported and when you reported for your records. You can contact SSA to learn more about what other changes you should also report. More information about reporting can be found in the SSA publications: What You Need To Know When You Get Social Security Disability Benefits and What You Need To Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income .

    You can also visit the Social Security website page for Overpayments.

    This publication provides legal information, but it is not intended to be legal advice. As the law may change, please contact Disability Rights SC for updates. Please let us know if you would like this information in an alternative format.

    This publication is funded at taxpayer expense by the US Social Security Administration . It was reviewed on for technical accuracy by the SSA. However, it should not be considered an official SSA document and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding authority.

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    A Note About Appeal Deadlines

    Social Security appeal deadlines run from the date that you receive a notice. Social Security presumes that you receive its notices five days from the mailing date listed on the first page of the notice. If you received your notice more than five days after that date, and you file your appeal more than 65 days from the date, then you will have to prove to Social Security that you received your notice late or that you have other good cause for appealing late. Don’t put yourself in that position. Submit your appeal forms as soon as you get your denial notice.

    If Social Security Overpays You For Social Security Disability Benefits You’ll Be Notified That You Need To Repay It

    By Lorraine Netter, Contributing Author

    Social Security overpayments of disability benefits can occur due to changes in your circumstances or giving Social Security insufficient information. If Social Security overpays you and discovers its error, you will receive a notice of the overpayment. If you have a lawyer or nonlawyer representative, he or she will also be notified of the overpayment.

    The notice of overpayment will include an explanation of why you have been overpaid, your repayment options, and your appeal and “waiver” rights.

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    What Do I Do If I Get A Notice Of Overpayment

    First make sure you read the Notice carefully. Make sure that they information on it is correct, that the amounts and dates are correct, and try to figure out if you were really overpaid the amount SSA says.

    There are three ways to deal with the overpayment.

  • Ask for Reconsideration. This means you want SSA to look at your case again, either by looking at your file or by meeting with you in a conference or hearing. Ask for a reconsideration if you think the amount of the overpayment is wrong, the amount owed is incorrect, or the reason SSA gives for the overpayment is wrong.
  • Ask for a Waiver. If you agree that you were overpaid, you can still ask SSA to waive it so that you dont have to pay it back. Ask for a waiver if you think that the overpayment was not your fault or you cant afford to pay the money back.
  • Ask for a Payment Arrangement. Do this if you think that the overpayment was your fault or you can afford to pay it back. You can tell SSA that you want to pay the money back a little at a time.
  • Whatever you decide to do, act quickly. Do not just put the notice aside. If you do not take care of the amount of money owed SSA will start taking money out of your future checks.

    How Do I Set Up A Payment Arrangement

    2 On Your Side: Social Security Overpayments

    If you have lost all your appeals or have decided not to appeal any further, you must pay the money back. Tell SSA that you want to repay it in small amounts each month that you can afford. Otherwise, SSA may automatically take your whole Social Security disability check or 10% of your SSI check. Usually you will have to pay back at least $10.00 a month. SSA tries to get the money back within 3 years. However, they cannot take more than 10% of your SSI check, even if it takes more than 3 years.

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    When Both Appeal And Waiver Requests Are Denied

    I can’t appeal anymore.

    SSA will try to recover the overpayment from you. It usually does this by reducing the amount you get each month.

    If you get SSI, SSA can lower your benefits by up to 10% to recover the overpayment. The current SSI benefit is $783 per month. The most SSA could lower your benefit by is $78.30 per month. If you get SSDI, SSA will lower your monthly benefit to $0 until the overpayment has been paid back.

    How will SSA collect the overpayment if I don’t get benefits anymore?

    SSA will ask you to repay the overpayment within 30 days. If you cannot afford to pay the full amount all at once, you can ask SSA to pay back the overpayment in installments.

    If you do not repay the overpayment, SSA may do one or more of these:

    • Garnish your wages

    • Reduce the overpayment amount from your tax refund

    • Reduce future SSA benefits may you receive, including retirement benefits

    • Report your nonpayment to credit bureaus

    When All Else Fails Request A Payment Plan

    Even if youve exhausted every option listed above, you dont have to pay the full amount back all at once. Instead, ask the SSA to withhold a certain amount from your monthly disability checks until youve paid off the balance. The SSA will reduce or stop your checks to recover the full refund amount unless you request a payment plan.

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    Consequences For Not Repaying A Social Security Overpayment

    If you don’t repay the overpayment that is owed to the SSA, there are several steps that the agency can take to get the money that is owed to it. Some of the actions the SSA may take include:

    • Taking your federal tax refund check
    • Taking a percentage from your work paycheck before you get it
    • Taking future SSI or SSDI benefits, or
    • Report your nonpayment to the credit bureau.

    How Do I Appeal Social Security Underpayment

    Exceeded Social Security Earnings Limit: Don

    If you disagree with the SSAs overpayment notice, you can file an appeal by submitting Form SSA-561. You can also call or visit any SSA Office nearest you. Explain why you think there was no overpayment or that the amount is wrong. Remember that you only have 60 days from receipt of the notice to file an appeal.

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    What Should I Do If I Disagree With The Appeals Council

    If the Appeals Council issues a decision or denies your request for review of a judges decision, and you disagree with the action of the Appeals Council, you may file a civil action with the U.S. District Court in your area. We cannot help you file a court action. You may want to contact a lawyer or a legal aid group to help you.

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