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What is done if you receive more money than you are entitled?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

135. What is done if you receive more money than you are entitled?

If you cash a check to which you are not entitled, a refund is ordinarily required. Often the program service center withholds later checks to make up for the overpayment. However, if this is not done you must refund the money.

Contact any convenient Social Security office to find out if a refund is necessary. If so, make the refund to the Social Security office, or program service center that handled the claim. Refunds may be made by check, money order, or other draft payable to the Social Security Administration. Be sure to show your Social Security claim number so that it can be associated with the proper claims folder.

Last Revised: March 15, 2001

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There are 10 Comments

What can I do if I dispute that I was overpaid by the SSA? I want real proof. They have been taking money from me in various fashions to "REPAY THEMSELVES". I have no financial to live other than my retirement checks.

See the following link. You can request an appeal or waiver of the overpayment.

If you do not agree that you have been overpaid, or if you believe the amount is incorrect, you can appeal by filing form SSA-561. You should explain why you think you have not been overpaid or why you think the amount is not correct.

If you believe you should not have to pay the money back, you can request the SSA to waive collection. You must submit form SSA-632 for this.

There is no time limit for filing a waiver. You will have to prove that:

  • The overpayment was not your fault; and
  • Paying it back would cause you financial hardship or be unfair for some other reason.

I was overpayed,I was told by mail $2372.00.I was also told that it would take be taken out of all my Nov2012 ss check of $1952.90, and $ 419.10 in Dec2012.I can not get by with that.I was told on the phone that I could, by an agent(Brenda) , pay 66 dollars overtime,and then lost my call and have not been able to contact them since

If paying back the money would be a hardship, the SSA might accept installment payments or an offer in compromise settlement. A compromise is where the SSA accepts an amount less than the full overpayment and forgives repayment of the rest of the debt.

If you have a question about an overpayment, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

got a small check from a job i was worked 10 yrs ago.and they said it was pension money ..taxes were taken out but not i pay ss thier part to?

Assuming the payment you received was a pension payment, the pension payment is not subject to FICA (Social Security) taxes.

Pension payments, annuities, and the interest or dividends from your savings and investments are not earnings for Social Security purposes.

Only earned income, your wages or net income from self-employment, is covered by Social Security.

You may have to pay income tax on pensions, annuities, interest or dividends, but you do not pay Social Security taxes. Those types of income are not on your Social Security record.

Note, however, "investment income" (possibly including pension payments) may be subject to the new "Obamacare / Medicare" tax. This would apply if your annual income is over $200,000, so please investigate as needed.

Where would I go to inquire about class action suite over with to find out entitlement owed to me by social security?

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