A Notice of Overpayment is sent from the Social Security Administration, or SSA, when a disability recipient has been overpaid benefits. If you received this notice, you have several options for handling the situation.
File an Appeal
If you believe that you were not overpaid by the SSA, you can file an appeal. It is possible that the notice was sent in error, and you have the right to challenge it.
To file an appeal, you need to complete Form 561. The form must be completed and filed with the SSA within 60 days of receiving the notice regarding the overpayment. If possible, file the appeal within 10 days. If you do, the SSA will hold on trying to collect the amount of the overpayment from you until the review of the appeal.
In the event that your appeal is denied, you can ask that your case be heard before an administrative law judge, or ALJ. During the hearing, you can present evidence. Evidence can include proof of the payments you did receive and your award letter showing what you deserved.
If the ALJ rules against you, you can ask for another appeal to be heard by the Appeals Council. At this point, if you do not have legal representation, it is important that you do now. An experienced Social Security disability attorney can help shape your defense and present your case.
Negotiate With the SSA
On occasion, the SSA will negotiate a compromise with recipients who were overpaid. The agency might require you to pay the full amount that is agreed to at the time the compromised is reached.
It is important that you attempt to negotiation as soon as possible. If not, the agency can start to withhold your entire benefit until the debt is fully paid off.
Arrange a Payment Plan
If you agree that you owe the amount stated by the SSA, you can ask for a payment plan. While you are paying off the debt, you can continue to receive your disability payments.
As part of the payment plan, a small percentage of your disability payments can be taken each month and applied towards the debt. This will continue until the overpayment is completely paid off.
It is important that you deal with an overpayment right away. Ignoring it could result in serious consequences, including having your disability payments temporarily stopped. Regardless of whether or not you feel you owe the debt, talk to an attorney to further explore your options for the overpayment.
For more information, contact Oot & Associates Law Offices or a similar firm.