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Overpayment of Gov't Benefits

An Overview

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An overpayment occurs when the Social Security Administration makes a payment that the recipient was not supposed to receive.

Whether you or Social Security discover the overpayment, it is important to treat overpayments from Social Security seriously and as if you will have to repay the extra money.

If you discover the overpayment, expect to have to return the money. It is preferable to let Social Security know about the overpayment.

You can always request a waiver, which means you don't have to repay the money at all. If the overpayment relates to a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit, the local office has the authority to waive repayment.

If a waiver isn't granted, you can request a period of time over which to repay the funds. The time period is usually limited to 36 months unless there is a good cause to extend the period of time.

Social Security's position with respect to the overpayment usually depends on the cause. For example, whether it is due to the fault of Social Security, or whether you misstated facts which led to the overpayment.

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