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What if I get an overpayment of my SSI benefits?

Since Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a need-based program for people who are 65 or older, blind and/or disabled, New Jersey recipients should be keenly aware of the rules for the program. A violation of these rules could lead to the SSI-related benefits being stopped. One common problem that can negatively affect SSI benefits is if there is an overpayment. Understanding what constitutes an overpayment and how to address it is key.

If a person gets more money in a month than they should have, it is considered an overpayment. The amount of the overpayment is what the person received, minus what they were supposed to get.

There are many reasons why there might be an overpayment. They include: a person's income being higher than their estimate; changes to the living situation; a change to the marital status; having more resources than they are allowed; the person no longer being disabled and still getting benefits; a failure to report any changes to the Social Security Administration (SSA); or the SSA making an incorrect calculation due to incorrect or wrong information.

When there is an overpayment, the person will be informed by the SSA and a refund is expected within 30 days. If the refund is not made, the notice will tell the person the following: the overpayment can be withheld for 10 percent or the entire payment, whichever is lower; the month in which withholding will commence; the person's right to appeal; how a waiver request can be made; and how to lodge an appeal. For those who do not think they received overpayment, a reconsideration request is allowed.

Mistakes can happen on both sides of the fence with SSI. When a person is told that there was an overpayment, it can be a worrisome time as they are frequently unsure of what to do. With this or any other problem or concern with their SSI payments, legal help is a must. A law firm that knows the ins and outs of Supplemental Security Income can help with a case.

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The Law Offices of Steven Gaechter
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