Occasionally, the Social Security Administration sends Social Security Disability benefit recipients more than they are entitled to. This is called an overpayment. While there are many possible causes for a Social Security Disability benefits overpayment, the most common are:
- Your return to work. If the SSA does not receive notice of your employment in time, you may receive an overpayment of Social Security Disability benefits.
- Changes regarding your living situation.
- Marriage. In some cases, your new spouse’s income may disqualify you for some benefits based on income requirements. If the SSA is not notified in a timely manner, there may be an overpayment of Social Security Disability benefits.
- Improvements in your disability.
- Increased income. If your income (including non-work income) exceeds SSA standards, you may be disqualified from some or all Social Security Disability programs. This often results in an overpayment of benefits, especially if the SSA was not notified in a timely manner.
- Clerical error on the part of the SSA. If the SSA makes an error and sends overpayment to you, you are still responsible to pay those funds back in most cases.
When the SSA becomes aware that they have made an overpayment, they will send you a notice detailing how much you the overpayment was; why the overpayment was made; your repayment options; and details regarding your right to appeal. You have the right to representation by a Social Security Disability lawyer, should you need one to help you appeal your overpayment case.
A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you by appealing the validity of the overpayment or by helping you negotiate favorable repayment terms. In any case, whether you choose to handle your case yourself or to have a Social Security Disability lawyer handle it for you, you will want to respond to all overpayment notices in a timely manner, as your right to appeal and negotiate repayment are both time sensitive.