The U.S. Government Accountability Office undertook a study late in 2012 which showed the Social Security Administration overpaid $7.3 billion in disability benefits in fiscal year 2011, nearly twice the amount of the $3.8 billion which was overpaid in 2001. This study was done to determine the major factors in overpayment of disability benefits and what is know about it from recipients.
The GAO recommended a review of review and approval of overpayment waiver decisions to determine if it is still an appropriate policy. The agency also suggested the SSA look at ways to strengthen oversight of this program and figure out better ways to track payments.
For those who have been overpaid, the SSA’s website said there are multiple options for repaying the amount which is owned, including withholding money from the benefit, paying back the amount in full or having it held via SSI payments.
“If you are not receiving benefits, and you do not pay the amount back, we can recover the overpayment from your federal income tax refund or from your wages if you are working,” SSA said on its website. “Also, we can recover overpayments from future SSI or Social Security benefits. We also will report the delinquency to credit bureaus.”
The overpayment of Social Security disability or retirement benefits can be extremely burdensome to claimants who were unaware they were being overpaid. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are experts in representing clients facing overpayment claims from the Social Security Administration. If a claimant has been notified of an overpayment, they should consider requesting a waiver based upon lack of fault for causing the overpayment and the hardship to their family finances this situation would present.