How Disability Recipients Can Prevent and Manage Overpayments

If you currently receive Social Security disability benefits, it is especially important that you tell the Social Security Administration about any earnings that you receive from a job once you begin to work. In some instances, Social Security disability recipients receive overpayments. A disability recipient receives an overpayment whenever he or she gets a bigger cash payment from the Social Security Administration than the amount that he or she was owed for a particular month. In other words, a disability overpayment refers to the amount of the cash payment that you received, less the amount of money that you were due to recover.

In cases where an individual receives an overpayment from Social Security, he or she is responsible for paying that money back in a timely manner. One of the ways to avoid an overpayment in the first place is to report your earnings accurately every month to the Social Security Administration.

When an individual reports his or her wages, the Social Security Administration will use that number to determine your Social Security disability benefits eligibility —or your eligibility for Social Security Income (SSI) — depending upon the circumstances. When a person reports his or her wages in a timely manner every month, and reports those wages accurately, this helps to ensure that the Social Security Administration correctly determines your eligibility for SSDI benefits or calculates your SSI payment in the correct manner.

An experienced Orange County Social Security disability benefits lawyer near you can assist with taking the necessary steps to prevent and manage any Social Security overpayment that you might receive.

Reporting Your Wages Timely and Accurately

There are several ways that you can report your wages timely and accurately to the Social Security Administration. For starters, you should report your wages for the previous month during the first six calendar days of the new month. 

Moreover, you can report your wages online, using the mobile app, through your Social Security field office, or over the telephone.

Actions You Should Take if You Suspect that an Overpayment Occurred

If you suspect that you have been issued a Social Security overpayment, there are several steps that you will need to take. First and foremost, you should not spend any extra money that you received. The Social Security Administration will mail you a notice which indicates that you have been overpaid. You will also receive a request to repay the extra money within a period of 30 days after you first received the original notice.

In the case of Social Security disability overpayments, unless you specifically ask for a lower withholding amount, the Social Security Administration will withhold the total amount of your disability benefits from month-to-month. However, if you receive SSI benefits and have gotten an overpayment, the Social Security Administration will typically hold back 10% of the federal benefit rate from month-to-month.

In cases where a benefit recipient does not agree with an overpayment, he or she might be able to file an appeal. A California Social Security disability benefits lawyer near you could assist with managing an overpayment or filing an appeal, as necessary.