Disability, General, Retirement, SSI, Survivors

Social Security Eliminates Overpayment Burden for Social Security Beneficiaries – Automatic Overpayment Recovery Rate Reduced to 10 Percent

March 29, 2024 • By

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Last Updated: March 29, 2024

Social Security Administration SealSocial Security announced it will decrease the default overpayment withholding rate for Social Security beneficiaries to ten percent (or $10, whichever is greater) from 100 percent, significantly reducing financial hardship on people with overpayments.

“Social Security is taking a critically important step towards our goal of ensuring our overpayment policies are fair, equitable, and do not unduly harm anyone,” said Martin O’Malley, Commissioner of Social Security.  “It’s unconscionable that someone would find themselves facing homelessness or unable to pay bills, because Social Security withheld their entire payment for recovery of an overpayment.”

The agency works to pay the right people the right amounts at the right time, and Social Security issues correct payments in most cases.  However, there is room to improve, as people count on the agency to prevent overpayments from happening and make it easier to navigate the recovery and waiver processes when they occur.

When a person has been overpaid, the law requires the agency to seek repayment, which can create financial difficulties for beneficiaries.  As of March 25, 2024, the agency will collect ten percent (or $10, whichever is greater) of the total monthly Social Security benefit to recover an overpayment, rather than collecting 100 percent as was previous procedure.  There will be limited exceptions to this change, such as when an overpayment resulted from fraud.

There will be a short transition period where people will continue to experience the older policy.  People placed in 100 percent withholding during this transition period should call Social Security’s National 800 Number at 1-800-772-1213 to lower their withholding rate.

The change applies to new overpayments.  If beneficiaries already have an overpayment with a withholding rate greater than ten percent and would like a lower recovery rate, they too should call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or their local Social Security office to speak with a representative.  If a beneficiary requests a rate lower than ten percent, a representative will approve the request if it allows recovery of the overpayment within 60 months – a recent increase to improve how the agency serves its customers from the previous policy of only 36 months.  If the beneficiary’s proposed rate would extend recovery of the overpayment beyond 60 months, the Social Security representative will gather income, resource, and expense information from the beneficiary to make a determination.

Social Security launched a comprehensive review in October 2023 of agency overpayment policies and procedures to address payment accuracy systematically. Learn about Overpayments and Our Process and read our Press Release.  This procedure change is a direct result of the ongoing review.  This change and the adjustment to 60-month repayment are part of four recently announced key updates to address improper payments.  The agency also is working to reduce wage-related improper payments by establishing information exchanges with payroll data providers that will significantly reduce the number of improper payments, once implemented.  The agency will continue examining programmatic policy and making regulatory and sub-regulatory changes to improve the overpayment process.

Additionally, people have the right to appeal the overpayment decision or the amount.  They can ask Social Security to waive collection of the overpayment, if they believe it was not their fault and can’t afford to pay it back.  The agency does not pursue recoveries while an initial appeal or waiver is pending.  Even if people do not want to appeal or request a waiver, they should contact the agency if the planned withholding would cause hardship.  Social Security has flexible repayment options, including repayment of as low as $10 per month.  Each person’s situation is unique, and the agency handles overpayments on a case-by-case basis.

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  1. Jacque M.

    What the heck is this “over payment” jibber jabber? This is the first time I’ve even heard of such a thing . . . sounds like just another way the f—— government is going to get away with continuing to illegally steal from hard working, deserving citizens – can you say “the IRS” ???

    Reply
    • David H.

      Exactly. And just where the heck is the March SS Deposit???

      Just called my bank: NO DEPOSIT MADE FOR MARCH 2024!

      Maybe they were too busy handing out SS cards to ILLEGAL ALIENS?

      And the SS office in P.I. where I must call (from Thailand, on my dime) to inquire about the missing deposit?

      ON HOLD FOR 20 MINUTES with TAGALOG messages. Useless.

      Reply
      • Sue

        We’re sorry to hear of your situation, David. Since you’re living outside of the United States, you may contact your local Federal Benefits Unit for assistance with your Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of Earnings & International Operations webpage provides additional resources for our customers living abroad. We hope this is resolved soon.

         

         

        Reply
  2. Angel B.

    My dead husband worked while receiving Social Security disability. After his death I was informed that I could collect on my ex husbands SS. After I accepted I was informed that he was overpaid and now I have to pay it back because I’m getting money from his account. We were divorced in 2006. He defrauded in 2009. I did not gain from his actions. But we settled on SSA taking 530$ a month from me. Just so unfair to me. I truly believe they offered me his account so I would have to repay it. He defrauded me in so many ways and now all these years later he is still defrauding me 🫤while his dead. I have been paying 530.00 for years and will be until I’m 77 or dead.

    Reply
  3. Felton F.

    Over payments are most commonly caused by people who receive early retirement benefits. Those people are penalized simply because they retired before their full retirement age. Their allowance for earned income is limited. There should not be any earned income limit for people who retire early. Their monthly benefits are less than people who receive full retirement benefits. That in itself is enough of a penalty simply because of early retirement. There should not be any other additional penalty such as a limit on earned income. Lastly, all social security retirement recipients should not have any earned income limit; Whether they receive early or full retirement benefits!

    Reply
  4. Ricky. T.

    I have been paying over payment while I was on disability and after my medical condition forced me to retire and the their are taking out is making to cut down on groceries and other things that my family needs.

    Reply
    • Dolores

      When they took a big payment out of my check without a warning it put me in a financial crisis. I would love to receive that money back,

      Reply
  5. Melissa C.

    Does this apply to only Social Security or does it also apply to SSI, SSDI …..all programs?

    Reply
  6. Leah R.

    Okay here’s the “secret”, Trump and JFK mentioned the “Deep State”, every US government agency has “secret overseers” that are usually the most vile humans to walk the earth, they assimilate with the Americans since they have anglo Saxon skin tone but they have a deep HATRED for all Americans including the “whites”(US contracted allies that do the USA’s dirty work inside government agencies Targeting and eliminating unwanted citizens/peasants). Many regular Americans don’t even know these people exist or who do they are since they assimilate with every other white American. These anglos were usually refugees from the caucus mountain Eurasian countries and all around. They come from Azerbaijan, Serbia, Bosnia, many from Turkey and Germany, white South Afrikaner known as Boers, Australians, refugees from poor anglo European countries who relabel themselves and say they’re from Denmark. That’s the deep state for you, it’s micro departments inside Federal and government agencies who are actually the overseers and keep equal tabs on the white and black Americans and hate them both equally. Those people right there are your problem. Google..”TARGETED INDIVIDUAL” and “gang stalking”. Everyone one any benefits program including RETIREMENT, is on that elimination list. The USA is a private corporation owned by a secret entity, the Social Security Administration is a insurance policy company and a Trust, and not what you think. Trump and JFK speak about this. They are vile but once in a while you find some good hearted ones, very rarely, but they exist, because I know one of them saved my life in the PAST and also saved some other people I encountered throughout the years.. but their intentions are NOT to save anything but money which they are very money hungry and are after ownership of all homes and farm land and any valuables in the USA. Good and bad people exist everywhere, so not all are bad. Remember they assimilate as regular Americans(US Allies), they do hold US citizenship or ten year visas, some were even born on US soil, many have different IDENTITIES as they STEAL them ALONG WITH RANSACKING the government agencies and stirring up trouble. That’s the secret Deep State, your country HATES you.

    Reply
    • Wiz

      Turn OFF FOX NEWS! 🙃

      Reply
  7. Christina

    So, if the agency makes the mistake and over pays, the receiver is punished? That makes you no better than the Corporations who nickle and dime their way to millions in profits.
    It’s not like the monthly supplement allows for a life of “high on the hog”.

    Reply
    • Candy b.

      I don’t think it right for social security to cut my SSI they are saying in 2022 I was over paid no I wasn’t I at all now I don’t have hardly any money to buy food or clean things 😭😭😔😔 it not right at all

      Reply
      • Keith B.

        And you are not able do anything about it. They took what they said was over payment and more then what was owed gotten prof I didn’t owe they are trying again after they took it when I was trying to stop it. Now they owe me

        Reply
  8. Osbourne w.

    I was working my tail off with two jobs at restaurants, one as a cook and one as a cook. Satisfied sleeps and personal relationships to achieve financial stability never panned out. The I fell short of this goal is because my on going fight with metal health. I was under extreme stress with health issues so I asked for some time off and from both jobs and seeks medical care and still doing so. I applied for social security during the time I wasn’t working as a qualified beneficiary and got on the program. The bills was piling up and the monthly payments from social security wasn’t enough to all my expenses, I had hustle sides jobs like washing cars and cutting lawn to help cover some of my expenses, while doing so I forgot or never known I reported this to social security. They checked up on me and do a report paid back the over payment which I been doing ever since without fail. Though my medical issues abit stabilize, it is still stressful, working one job and getting social security benefits, I am still not able to afford the meet my goals that is financial stability I am aiming for, inflation and the high costs of living pushing my dreams of ever further more and every years it’s looking like American dreams is unattainable and hearing about this change society security is making to ease some of the burden of overpayment for people who qualify for this changes, for me, come a little too late but are relieved and are welcome, I am over sixties now and been working for over thirty plus years now, I am still hoping to achieve the American dreams, I am not a lazy person, love to work because I want to be financially independent and the way to do it, is to work for it. I am glad social security see the light and want live up to thier name.

    Reply
  9. Surinder K.

    Payments received in good faith should not be subject to the normal rules. I am happy that SSA has finally done away with the harsh rule and token money of $ 10.00 will hence forth be recovered. CHEERS!!
    I notice that Linda received only $465 p.m. as Social Security which is too meager an amount to sustain in these days of
    Galloping inflation. It is high time that Biden Admn. rationalise this gross anomaly and say once every 5/6 years
    Review such cases and like national Minimum Wage, upgrade SS of poorest of the poor citizens. By doing so we can reduce workload of SSI and other Govt. agencies. and justify ourselves a progressive welfare State.

    Reply
    • Bill

      And where is that money coming from? The galloping inflation you mentioned is because Biden gives our hard earned money away to buy votes and keep the radical progressive far left politicians in his party happy. Social Security was never meant to be all you need to live on. Maybe instead of Biden forgiving 100’s of millions of dollars of collage loans, being paid by people who never went to collage, to people that have better paying jobs, he could use that money to help out folks living in poverty.

      Reply
      • PRM2009

        College…I went to college and was promised forgiveness after ten years of payments because I teach in a state correctional institution. Nope! There were plenty of us who were duped into thinking our loans would be forgiven. Drive a car that is decades old and live frugally. Absolutely do not regret teaching incarcerated adults because corrections ed teachers make a difference. Just wish the loan servicers had been more honest about the terms of forgiveness.

        Reply
  10. Walt

    The overpaid folks should be VERY thankful that SSA doesn’t charge interest on overpayments!!

    Reply
    • Linda

      When watching the “60 Minutes” report on so-called overpayments, one can see that the SSA has been disgracefully charging individuals who are not at fault.
      My situation was the same back in the 1970s.
      I appealed and since last year my case is either closed, or awaiting payment.
      It is a shame when someone as myself who only receives $465 per month, should be paying anything from the 1970s, when I was not at fault.

      Reply
    • Coi P.

      Most overpayments are caused by that unjust and biased law where most elderly workers can only be allowed to earn a certain small and limited amount of yearly income, where in excess of that amount you have to give back 50% of it to Social Security….those who created such law should be responsible for these overpayments….it’s a pity that we elderly people have no choice but work to cope up with high living expenses, yet despite our last ditch strength our hard earned money will only be taken back by the system….Whoever made this move of reducing to 10% the overpayment payments, Thank you! And God bless you too!

      Reply

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