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Overpayment of Gov't Benefits

Social Security Rules And Policy About Repayment

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There are some basic rules and policies to be aware of in the event of an overpayment:

Social Security's goal is to obtain full repayment within 36 months.

  • Within the target period, Social Security will work with you on determining any repayment amount, and can adjust monthly amounts periodically if needed.
  • Social Security will not agree to stretch-out repayment over a longer period of time unless you can demonstrate you will otherwise suffer substantial hardship.

A lump sum repayment of the overpayments is Social Security's preferred method of repayment.

  • For larger amounts, the Notice of Overpayment will automatically suggest a repayment plan.
  • If you can show that immediate repayment in full or the proposed repayment plan will create a financial hardship on you, Social Security will usually work out a more reasonable time payment which will reduce your monthly benefit by an agreed amount until the money is repaid.

When the overpayment is due to a failure on your part to report earnings when you should have, Social Security has been known to be very demanding about quick repayment.

You have the right to appeal and show Social Security that you were not overpaid.

You are permitted to apply for a "Waiver of Recovery" to ask Social Security to write off the overpayment without repayment. See Forms To Use If You Receive An Overpayment.

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