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Adjustment of Benefits to Recover Overpayments

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

1909. Adjustment of Benefits to Recover Overpayments

1909.1 How are benefits adjusted to recover overpayments for RSDI programs?

We may adjust or withhold benefits to recover an overpayment for benefits payable under the RSDI programs as follows:

  1. The amount of the overpayment may be withheld from any benefits to which the overpaid person is entitled as follows:

    1. From his or her own earnings record or on the earnings record of any other person; or

    2. From benefits payable to others on the earnings record on which the overpayment was made.

1909.2 If the overpaid person is deceased, how is the repayment made?

When the overpaid person is deceased, we may withhold the amount of the overpayment from the lump-sum death payment payable on deceased's earnings record. If a lump-sum death payment has already been made despite an overpayment, the individual who received the payment must refund it.

1909.3 Are overpayments recovered by adjustment against SSI payments?

We do not recover overpayments under RDSI programs by adjustment against an SSI payment, unless the individual owing the refund makes such a request.

1909.4 How are overpayments under the SSI program recovered?

For benefits payable under the SSI program, we may adjust or withhold benefits to recover overpayments as follows:

  1. Adjustment may be made against any payment due an overpaid individual or eligible spouse (as defined in §2110) or the estate of either or both if benefits have not been recovered prior to the death of either or both;

  2. Overpayments are adjusted against any payments due an eligible individual and eligible spouse (as defined in §2110) before any further payment is made if the overpayment was created by the disposition of resources or is related to non-excluded resources; (See §§2148-2166.)

  3. Overpayments are never adjusted against Medicare payments but will be adjusted against benefits payable under the RSDI programs if one of the following conditions applies:

    1. Effective 01/01 adjustment will be made against benefits payable under the RSDI program to recover SSI overpayments when it is not possible to adjust benefits payable under the SSI program; or

    2. The overpayment resulted from the deeming of income or resources to an alien from the person who sponsored him or her for admission to the U.S. (See §2170.)

Last Revised: Jan. 20, 2006

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There is 1 Comment

It is incredible how we can submit evidence of our income, and still be like they say overpaid for three years in a row, to the point that one of my kids does not receive her money at all due to repayment, the other gets 1.62 cents for left over after repayment of overpaid income and making us responsible for the overpayment, even after taking necessary money from our children and us complying to their requests and been responsible with them. Just because you are in the military it does not mean that we are rich, we have bills and the amount you see in the LES is not what ends up in our pockets. We get diductions for loans, bills, housing ect. We are a family of five and the bills, grocery cost, gas cost, clothing needs, school needs, medicine needs ect, keeps going up and the salaries and benefits don't match. It is sad when good people pay for the ignorance of others that abuse the system. I think the system should be revised and be case by case, you can not put everyone in the same box and category since we don't all have the same needs.

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