How do I fight Social Security overpayment?


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Getting a bigger check than you should from the Social Security Administration may seem like a windfall at first glance, but what it really means is that you have to wade through the bureaucratic gears to deal with the overpayment.

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Overpayment occurs when social security pays you more than you should have paid. If this happens, the Social Security Administration will notify you, according to its website. The notice will tell you why you overpaid and how to repay the SSA. The agency will also provide instructions on the following:

  • Whether the SSA should reconsider its decision if you believe you haven’t paid too much?
  • How can you waive the overpayment?
  • How to refund the amount at a different rate?

If you do not agree that you have paid too much, or you believe that the amount is incorrect, you can appeal by filing Form SSA-561, Request for Reconsideration. Be sure to explain why you think you haven’t paid too much or why you think the amount is incorrect.

If you agree that you overpaid but believe that you should not repay it – either because you did not pay the overpayment or because you cannot afford it – you must submit Form SSA-632, Request for waiver of overpayments Recovery.

If you agree that you have paid too much and are willing to pay it back, but you cannot afford to pay it back at the rate stated in your notice, submit Form SSA-634, Request for Change in Overpayment Recovery Rate, to be submitted.

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On the other hand, if you agree that you have paid too much and do not object to paying the full amount, you can go to Pay.gov to make the payment. As GOBankingRates previously reported, the Treasury Department added the Pay.gov site earlier this year to facilitate the repayment process. For added security, instead of using your social security number, you will be given a new transfer ID.

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About the author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work has also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a BA in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards, and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. Born in North Carolina and also writing fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” came second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published by Atmosphere Press in 2021.


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