Social Security Administration Offers New Site to Return Overpayments
If you have ever received extra money in your monthly Social Security check, you can now repay that amount online. Called an “overpayment” this is when the Social Security Administration simply overpays you for the month. The amount of your overpayment is the difference between the amount you received and the amount due.
Sometimes, a clerical error can cause this. Other times, the error is made because your income is actually more than you estimated, your living or marital situation changes, you have more resources than the allowable limit, you are no longer disabled and continue to receive benefits or you do not report a change to the SSA as required.
Unfortunately, this amount will need to be paid back to the SSA.
If the administration notices there is an overpayment, they will send you a notice explaining it and ask for a full refund within 30 days. The SSA is not a creditor that you simply could put off for a while without major repercussions. Failure to make a full refund will simply result in a withholding of future benefits from your monthly checks, meaning either way the overpayment will be repaid.
To help make the repayment process easier the Department of the Treasury has added a separate site, Pay.gov, along with the ability to pay back the monies via your bank’s online bill pay option. For additional security, instead of using your social security number, you will be provided a new Remittance ID. More details on how to submit a payment can be found here.
If you feel that it was not your fault if you were overpaid and cannot afford to pay it back, you may ask for a waiver of the overpayment and ask to complete form SSA 632 (Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery.) The SSA may be able to help grant you a waiver and keep some if not all of the money. You will have to show it was not your fault. An example of this could be to prove you are still disabled or that your marital status has not changed. You will need to do this in addition to proving you cannot pay back the overpayment because you need the funds to continue meeting your ordinary living expenses. You may be asked to provide income documentation to prove it would be a hardship for you to repay.
Any notice you receive from the SSA regarding your overpayment will explain the waiver process and how you can appeal their decision.
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