How I Got My Social Security Overpayment Waived

53da906b4565a0ebbdaeebd93d539758--bird-paintings-mead.jpgGreat stories from smart readers who got their overpayments waived or eliminated. If you’ve gotten an overpayment notice, please see the bottom of this page for more info on your options.

Rose Gets Her Overpayments Waived

Social Security said I owed them $30,000. Yes $30,000!

They said it was my fault and wanted me to pay it back. They said I could paSocial Security said I owed them $30,000. Yes ent in front of judge.

I didn’t have a lawyer and I was in my early twenties. I just went by myself to the hearing and I told the judge that it was not my fault, I didn’t know and I couldn’t pay it back.

The judge said OK, and he waived it. I remember my local Social security office was so mad!

Sharon Gets Her Overpayments Waived
– Sharon Behn

My Congressman’s office was invaluable when I was told I had to pay back $6000. In this case, it involves SSDI where a mistake was made by an employer and I found no recourse even after appealing numerous times, they said I owed the money.  The Congressman’s office saw I had no money to pay and cut through red tape.

Christine Gets Her Overpayment Waived

Word to the wise: Don’t let them bully you.

When I got the overpayment notice, I went in to the local office and the Social Security representative informed me that with any overpayment I am required to repay it. She said it was my own mistake and that I had been well aware of the overpayment.

That’s what prompted me to ask for the proof of when, where and how this occurred. How was it even possible that I had known about this mistake when they never sent me any notices? Finally, she told me I could complete a waiver form, but it will only be denied. So not the case!

This is what I personally found out from experience. For any type of overpayments, you will need to do the following to avoid repayment:

First, ask them to provide proof of when, where and how this occurred. In my case, they claimed that I had been overpaid almost $6,000 within the first six months of receiving benefits. Apparently they weren’t supposed to pay me for both SSI and SSDI for the same time period, so they made a mistake.

Next, make sure you meet the criteria to qualify for an Overpayment Appeal or an Overpayment Waiver or for both.

In the end, SSA cleared out the entire overpayment balance they claimed I owed.

Sandra Gets Her Overpayment Waived
– by Sandra Rick Pearson

We used to get notices of over payment all the time. It was always the fault of the worker who didn’t adjust for the changes I reported. Each time, I filled out an Overpayment Waiver form and they were all accepted.

As long as you are on SSI and there is any kind of income in your household, you can expect to get over payment notices. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t get them.

You can request a waiver when the mistake is their fault, not yours, and you can show a hardship for repayment, which might require proof of bills. Just remember to make copies before you submit anything in case Social Security loses it, which also happens a lot.

The first step is figuring out why there is an overpayment. In my situation, they kept changing workers without letting me know. I was submitting changes to the wrong person. What they did with my paperwork is a mystery.  They never called or wrote to tell me I had a new worker. It was clearly their fault, not mine. I was doing what I was suppose to be doing.

I wouldn’t bother with an attorney in this situation. These forms aren’t too hard to fill out, and no attorney can prevent these overpayment notices. Most attorneys will not help with overpayments. The only time you’d really need an attorney is when Social Security says the person isn’t disabled.

I never had official help for filling out the waiver. I got help over the phone from my best friend who lives in another state. Sometimes networking on social media helps you find a person to help walk you through it.

Don’t feel bad if you get an overpayment. I got these notices all the time when my son was on SSI. My best friend gets overpayment notices every month. I don’t know what is up with Social Security workers, but it seems many of them missed math class.


Learn More

Learn your options if you get an overpayment notice or if money is being taken out of your check: How To Respond When Social Security Tells You That You Owe Money Back

Two great guides on this topic: Guidebook from National Legal Aid and Guidebook from Disability Rights California

If you are meeting with someone at Social Security, and they tell you something that sounds untrue, or they are not willing to listen to what you are saying, try one of these Magic Sentences That Can Turn a No Into Yes.

Here’s a list of people and places you may be able to contact for help if you are having a problem with Social Security or if you cannot get your questions answered. Contacting your Congressperson’s office can be especially helpful.

Overpayments are common for SSI. If you are on SSDI, it is possible to get an overpayment, but much much less likely. How to Understand the Difference Between SSI and SSDI Without Making Your Head Explode

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2 thoughts on “How I Got My Social Security Overpayment Waived”

  1. I was notified that I was also overpaid about thirty thousand dollars. The overpayment was made when my daughter was also eligible for disability through her fathers separate disability. I questioned why she would be receiving benefits from both of our accounts. This included back pay. I received a check plus back dated benefits. My children also received back benefits. Social security said my daughter would receive her extra benefits through a check sent to my then husband.. who was not her father. I questioned why it was happening number one.. and secondly why it would be going to my then husband. Of course by the time it was discovered back benefits were gone from catching up on bills and obtaining housing. I was also separated from my husband at this time. Even though the extra check came in his name he would sign it over to me. Husband was no longer supporting us financially and I could not afford to repay. I am so thankful that they did, at my request post in my record that I questioned the amount of money I was receiving monthly. I filled out the waiver request myself.. pointing out my concern and questions from the very beginning and the back payment was waived quite quickly.

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