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Social Security Disability overpayment debacle continues

You may have recently received a notice in the mail indicating that you owe a substantial amount of money to the federal government. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been sending out such notices to individuals it believes have been overpaid in regards to their Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Despite the SSA’s mistake in overpaying you, it is insisting that you return the overpaid funds.

This overpayment debacle can be maddening for SSD beneficiaries. In most cases, the money that has been overpaid has long-since been spent. And because SSD beneficiaries are not generally well-off financially, trying to come up with thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in order to repay the government may feel like an impossible task.

In rare instances, beneficiaries continue to receive benefits because they fail to update the SSA with their return-to-work status. But for most recipients currently receiving such notices, either they or their attorneys have properly informed the SSA about changes in status, the SSA has simply failed to process them properly. The recipients, believing that they are still owed money for numerous reasons, think nothing of the fact that benefits keep arriving.

If you have received a notice insisting that you repay the SSA a substantial amount of money, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney experienced in SSD matters. He or she will help you understand your legal options and obligations and can aid you in either working out a payment plan or having the overpayment amount you owe reduced.

Source: CNN Money, “'Critical failures' lead to Social Security overpayments,” Blake Ellis, Oct. 29, 2013

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