Social Security Q&A

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Social security

Question: I received a letter that I have an overpayment. What should I do? (B. Kelly, Pinecrest) 

Answer: 

Don’t spend the extra money! Social Security will send you an overpayment notice with a request to repay the amount within 30 days. 

If you receive SSDI payments, Social Security will withhold the full amount of your benefit each month (unless you request a lesser withholding amount). If you receive SSI, Social Security will withhold 10% of the federal benefit rate each month to recover the overpayment.  

If you receive a monthly benefit payment and receive an overpayment notice, visit www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-overpay-ussi.htm for information on how Social Security will ask you to pay it back. 

Related: 3 Tips to Manage Your Social Security Online

If you don’t agree you’ve been overpaid, or if the amount of the overpayment is incorrect, you may appeal using Form SSA-561. State why you think you haven’t been overpaid or why the amount is incorrect. Submit your appeal in writing within 60 days. 

Another option is filing Form SSA-632, Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery, to explain why you shouldn’t have to pay back the overpayment. There is no time limit for filing for a waiver, but you must prove that the overpayment wasn’t your fault and that paying the money back would cause you financial hardship or be unfair. 

(For appeals and waivers, you may need to supply Social Security with proof of income and expenses and meet with Social Security personnel.)