An overpayment means that you got more SSI money than you were supposed to. This can happen because you or Social Security makes a mistake. Even if it was their fault, Social Security can ask you to pay back the money.
Agree to pay it back and work out a payment plan. This way you get some control of how much is taken out of your check. See if they can take less than 10% per check. Note: the smallest amount they will agree to is $10 a month.
Appeal. If you do not think you were overpaid, you can appeal. File a written appeal right away. See our fact sheet, SSI Appeals, for how to do this.
Appeal within 10 days of getting the notice if you want your checks to stay at the same amount during the appeal.
Appeal within 60 days of getting the notice, or you lose the right to appeal.
Note: Social Security assumes that you get the notice 5 days after the date on the notice.
Ask for a “waiver.”This means that even if you were overpaid, you should not have to pay it back. If you can’t afford to pay the money back, file for a waiver right away. If you file within 30 days of getting the overpayment notice, Social Security can’t take money from your check until you have a meeting with them. If they already started taking money, asking for a waiver stops them from taking more until a decision is made. They have to give you the waiver ifthe overpayment wasn’t your fault, and:
It would be unfair to make you repay it (for example, you can’t afford to pay it back, and it would be a great hardship), or
The overpayment is small and not worth the time and energy to collect it.
Note: If your overpayment was caused by getting benefits during an appeal, the rules are different. Contact Legal Aid for more information
You can file for both an appeal and a waiver at the same time.