Sometimes SSA tells people they have received more Social Security benefits than they were entitled to receive. This is called an overpayment. Usually, SSA will require you to pay back any overpaid benefits, if you do not pay in full within 30 days, they will reduce your current benefits until the money is paid back.
You have the right to appeal an overpayment, if you think the decision is wrong or if you believe that the amount of the overpayment is less than what SSA alleges. If you request an appeal within 10 days of receiving the notice of overpayment, your full benefits will continue to be paid until SSA makes a decision on your appeal.
Also, you can ask at any time that you not be required to pay back an overpayment. This is called a request for a waiver. You may request a waiver by completing a written form available at the SSA office.
In order to qualify for the waiver, you must prove that:
- You received the overpayment through no fault of your own; and
- You cannot afford to pay it back.
If you are not eligible for a waiver, you still may be able to pay back the money you owe to Social Security a little at a time. You can ask SSA to take back some money each month from your Social Security benefit payment.
Updated: February 2018