Social Security Overpayment Situation
Here's a comment that was recently left on another post. Due to its length, I've responded to it in this separate post.
"Hi. I just found your blog in my search for information on disability overpayment. Boy have I got a doozie! I am blind and have drawn SSDI for about 5 years. In November my benefits abruptly ceased. I called and was told that I owed $29000 in overpayment. I was shocked and horrified. I didn't know I could request to continue receiving benefits. Anyway, I am trying to fight this, because I don't understand why they kept overpaying me. I reported that I worked part-time, but at the end of every year I would get a check for several thousand dollars and a letter stating that they had underpayed me for that year. So, I was lulled into a false sense of security. Now, I am financially destitute and can't get a lawyer to take on the overpayment. I am terrified that the waver will be denied even though you can't get blood from a turnip. Add to this the fact that the SSA sees no reason why they should provide my mail in an accessible form so I can read what I consider confidential thereby maintaining my autonomy. Do you think I have a snowball's chance of getting the overpayment amount waved?"
I gather from the information you provided that you have been overpaid due to your work activity. Sometimes it does not matter that a job was, or is, part-time. If it pays well it could very well have put your earnings over the monthly substantial gainful activity (SGA) earnings limit.
Additionally, it appears that you completed your nine month trial work period (nine months in any five year period in which you could earn any amount without if affecting your entitlement to disability benefits)and that in the tenth month you must have been earning SGA. You would have been ineligible for benefits any month you were earning over SGA. It appears from your post that you had many months that you were not eligible for disability benefits.
I am not sure how to proceed here, but just a couple of informational items. If your disability benefits were terminated due to work activity, you may be entitled to file an expedited reinstatement of your benefits if your termination month was in the last five years. If you file an expedited reinstatement, they will pay six months of provisional payments while they determine if you are still disabled by Social Security guidelines.
I am just guessing that you are past your extended period of eligibility and have terminated. If you are not working and your extended period of eligibility has not ended, you can call your local office an get your benefits reinstated.
As far as the overpayment goes, your waiver will most likely be denied if the overpayment was due to your work activity. To have an overpayment waived by Social Security you have to have been without fault (work activity is fault situation) and even if you were found to be not at fault you would have to repay the overpayment if you had the means.
That being said, you can always appeal your waiver decision to a hearing and the administrative law judge could reduce it or waive it. You never know. I would suggest if you get your Social Security benefits reinstated you make a payment arrangement while you await your hearing so they do not withhold your benefits. Social Security will consider your income and resources if you are unable to repay your overpayment in 36 months due to lack of means to repay it timely.
As I said before, I am just guessing here. If Social Security found that you were medically not disabled (I cannot imagine it since you state you are blind), you will have to file a new disability claim.
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
Labels: social security overpayment