In the majority of successful Social Security disability cases, after years of waiting, multiple appeals, and at least one hearing before an administrative law judge, the claimant receives their much-needed benefits, and that’s largely the end of the story.
But in some cases, things get much more complicated. Recently, 60 minutes ran a piece on the issue of Social Security overpayments.
Over the last two years, the Social Security Administration has sent out around 1 million overpayment notices to both retirees and disability recipients.
The overpayments can happen for all sorts of reasons. If you are receiving SSI and get married without notifying Social Security, this can reduce how much you should get each month. If you attempt to work full-time, the agency may continue sending you disability months for longer than they’re supposed to, even if you notify them of your return to work.
In one case profile by 60 minutes, a man who received SSI benefits decades ago as a child has now been told he owes Social Security thousands of dollars for money paid to his mother. And in some cases, Social Security miscalculates monthly benefits on their own. Even if the mistake was completely on them, they still expect you to pay back the overpayment.
Regardless of the cause, the overpayment can result in a drastic reduction in monthly retirement or disability benefits.
And while Social Security does have a process in place to obtain a waiver for any overpayments, it is unfortunately a lengthy and difficult process to deal with.