You may have heard of this scenario before, and it can be quite frightening. You or someone you know has been receiving a Social Security Disability check for months or years, and all of a sudden the checks stop. Not only has the federal government stopped your benefits, but they’ve sent you a letter saying they’re assessing you for overpayment! Can they do that? What are you supposed to do now?
As you know, without your regular Social Security disability checks, you can’t pay your rent or mortgage, you can’t pay your other bills, and you can’t buy food. This is a terrible situation to find yourself in. Alternately, you may continue to receive your check but you still get that overpayment assessment letter in the mail – and you’re worried about how the overpayment will affect your income. However, there are steps you can take to fight back.
Assessed for Overpayment? You Can Fight Back
If the government is assessing an overpayment and you, the first thing you should do is fill out form SSA-632-BK, Request For Waiver Of Overpayment Recovery or Change In Repayment Rate. This form is used if you don’t think you should have to pay back the overpayment amount, which you will need to complete if you agree you were overpaid but don’t think you are to blame for the overpayment amount and paying it back would be a hardship to you.
On the other hand, if you think that the overpayment amount cited is incorrect or that you weren’t really overpaid, then you should complete form SSA-561-U2, Request for Reconsideration. Finally, if you disagree with the overpayment decision and feel you should not have to pay it back even if you were overpaid, you can file both forms.
Keep in mind that the waiver form requires evidence to back up your claim that you can’t pay the overpayment amount. According to the Social Security Administration, when you file a request for waiver you need to present any papers you have verifying your financial statements (i.e. current bank statements, utility bills, pay stubs, credit card payments, loan payments, etc). If you do not have these records immediately available, do not delay filing. You have up to thirty days from filing the request to supply them.
If you have been assessed an overpayment and your benefits have been stopped, then you can also petition for your benefits to be reinstated while you fight the overpayment assessment.
If you think that you should repay the amount owed, then you do have the option to work out a payment plan with the government. In this case, you may be able to reach an agreement with the Social Security Administration to make a reasonable monthly payment that is not overly burdensome and won’t be a hardship to you.
Markhoff & Mittman, P.C.
14 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10601
Toll Free: 866-205-2415
Phone: (866) 205-2415
Fax: (914) 946-0810