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Overpayment of Gov't Benefits

What Happens If You Ignore Notices Of Overpayment Or Refuse To Make Repayment

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It is very important that you not ignore the Notice of Overpayment letter or any subsequent correspondence from Social Security. Social Security is an arm of the federal government and has several means of getting your attention if ignored.

If you don't respond to a Notice of Overpayment:

If you are still collecting benefits

If you do not reply to the Notice of Overpayment letter within the designated time (usually 30 days), Social Security will start collecting the overpayment under the payment schedule described in the letter. This means you will start receiving less than your full benefit until the debt is repaid. You will have no say in how much is taken out each pay period.

If you are no longer collecting benefits

If you do not reply to the Notice of Overpayment or if you refuse to make any repayments to Social Security:

  • Social Security can recover the overpayment from any federal tax refund which you may be due.
  • Social Security can go after you the same as any other creditor, including the right to inform the credit bureaus. Of course, informing the credit bureaus will affect your credit rating. Your credit rating is even more important since your diagnosis. (To learn more, see: Credit Score.) You should receive prior notice of Social Security's intent to report the bad debt to credit reporting agencies prior to an actual reporting.

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