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Newsbreak: Social Security Administration Cracks Down on Overpayments: What Beneficiaries Need to Know

The Social Security Administration may issue overpayment notices to beneficiaries who receive more money than they should. The reasons for overpayments vary depending on the type of benefits received, such as old age, survivors, disability, or Supplemental Security Income. According to a report by CNET on March 20, 2023, overpayments can occur if a beneficiary fails to report a change in their income or disability status or if there are errors in the information provided to the administration. The most common reasons for overpayments include changes in marital status, living arrangements, employment, income, and additional benefits.

Martha Shedden, president and co-founder of the National Association of Registered Social Security Analysts, advises beneficiaries who receive an overpayment notice to act quickly. The notice will detail the amount of the overpayment, the reason for the overpayment, and how to repay it. Recipients have 30 days plus five shipping days to repay the agency. Social Security benefits will be withheld in full after 30 days unless a lower withholding amount is requested and approved, according to a CNET report.

Beneficiaries can appeal the overpayment notice if they believe the amount is incorrect or unfair. An appeal is a reconsideration request, and beneficiaries can submit Form SSA-561 or contact the SSA directly. To change the repayment amount, beneficiaries can fill out Form SSA-634. To prevent future overpayments, beneficiaries should report their work and wages every month.

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