A recent article published by KFF Health News Inventions and CMG TV Stations found the Social Security Administration is trying to reclaim billions of dollars from people on Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income payments for payments they should not have received. According to a report by SSA’s inspector general, “during the 2022 fiscal year, the agency clawed back $4.7 billion of overpayments, while another $21.6 billion remained outstanding.”
How do these overpayments happen?
Overpayments can result from a Social Security mistake or beneficiaries failing to comply with reporting requirements. However, the Social Security Administration has admitted some of the fault lies with them. “In the most recent scorecard for one Social Security program, the agency said $265 million of overpayments in the 2022 fiscal year were “within the agency’s control.”
However, the largest source of overpayment happens when recipients or third-party representatives need to report changes in their income or assets but do not. The changes a recipient needs to report to Social Security are monthly wages and income from other sources to get accurate monthly SSI payments. If you live with your spouse, you must also report their income. You must also report changes in your living situation, marital status, and resources to get accurate monthly SSI payments.
What should you do if you get an overpayment notice and believe the overpayment was not your fault?
There is information and options for appealing and repayment options through the SSA.
Appeal & File Form SSA-561, Request for Reconsideration, explaining why you think you did not receive an overpayment and why the amount is incorrect.
File Form SSA-632, Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery, if you agree that you were overpaid but should not have to pay it back because you did not cause the overpayment and cannot afford to repay it.
Or File Form SSA-634, Request for Change in Overpayment Recovery Rate, if you agree that you were overpaid and will pay it back but cannot afford to pay it back at the rate Social Security stated has listed in the letter.
We all want the Social Security Administration to do their diligence in recouping overpayments. However, with staffing levels at a 25-year low, this will put strain on the Social Security Administration and current staffing. In addition to resource issues, the system used for checking information has built-in time lags, plus it relies on the beneficiaries to submit updated and current information regularly.
But at what costs do these overpayment clawbacks cause?
Read some personal stories – click below.
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