Social Security and SSI Overpayments

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 Social Security or SSI overpayments. English text, Acadiana Legal Service Corporation. Multimedia presentation by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. épañol por Servicios Jurídicos de Louisiana Sudeste.

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 What is an Overpayment?

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 An overpayment can simply mean that the Social Security Administration (SSA) sent you more money than you should have received.

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 But more often, SSA sends an overpayment notice when it believes that your benefits for a certain month or months were higher than they should have been. Usually this happens if, for some reason, your income has increased or if your expenses have decreased.

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 Overpayments can also be the result of a computer error.

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 If SSA believes that you have been overpaid, you will get a letter that starts like this: Notice of Overpayment We have determined that you received $)____ more in payment than you were due.

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 What if I don't agree I owe the money back or I don't have the money to pay it back?  What are my rights?

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 If you believe that you are not at fault and cannot pay the money back to SSA, you can immediately file for a WAIVER . You must file for this at a district office. After you file for a WAIVER , your checks should continue as usual until the problem is resolved.

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 You have 60 days from the date of your overpayment notice to file for RECONSIDERATION . This must also be done at the district office. You file for RECONSIDERATION when you believe the amount you are charged is incorrect or if you do not believe you were overpaid at all.

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 You must file for a timely WAIVER or RECONSIDERATION in order to continue to receive your checks as usual. You must file for RECONSIDERATION when you believe the amount you are charged is incorrect or if you do not believe overpayment has occurred.

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 When will Social Security give a waiver?

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 SSA recognizes that there may be good reasons not to recover the money. SSA will grant a WAIVER of repayment if you are without fault , AND if repayment would result in certain problems for you. You can prove that you were without fault if you have tried to report any changes in your income and/or living expenses to SSA and are not responsible for the overpayment. In addition to proving you are not at fault, you could get a waiver if paying back the money would:

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 Defeat the purpose of the benefit program (that is, if recovery of the money would leave you without funds for basic necessities);

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 Be against equity and good conscience (that is, if collection of the money would cause an unfair hardship on you); or Impede administration (that is, if the cost to recover the overpayment would be more than the amount recovered).

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 How can I prevent overpayment problems?

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 Remember to report changes in your income or living arrangements to SSA in writing, if possible. If you call, make a note of the date and the person you spoke to. Also remember to report any changes which may reduce your expenses (if you are no longer seeing a doctor, for example). If you receive a check for an amount that is different than what you normally receive, call SSA to inform them.

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 Remember: You are receiving benefits because the government recognizes your need and your right to these benefits. Rules have been created to help you when there is a problem such as overpayment. If you receive a notice of overpayment, it is your RIGHT to ask for a WAIVER and for RECONSIDERATION . No one will penalize you for exercising your rights, and you may find the SSA has indeed made a mistake.

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11/13/2012 11/13/2012 11/13/2012 If you have received an overpayment notice and need help in trying to obtain relief, consider calling the nearest free legal aid office to see if they can help.

Many thanks to The Technology Initiative Grant program of The Legal Services Corporation for its generous support. Muchas gracias al programa “TIG” de la Corporacin de Servicios Juridicos . Thank you, for watching. Gracias a usted. This is a presentation by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, a non-profit provider of free legal help to low-income people across 22 Louisiana Parishes. Presentacion de Servicios Jurdicos de Louisiana Sudeste, un programa sin fines lucrativos que ofrece servicios legales gratuitos a personas de ingresos bajos a traves de 22 parroquias de Louisiana. Find more resources on www.LouisianaLawHelp.org. Encuentre mas recursos en www.LouisianaLawHelp.org:

11/13/2012 Many thanks to The Technology Initiative Grant program of The Legal Services Corporation for its generous support. Muchas gracias al programa “TIG” de la Corporaci  n de Servicios Juridicos . Thank you, for watching. Gracias a usted. This is a presentation by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, a non-profit provider of free legal help to low-income people across 22 Louisiana Parishes. Presentacion de Servicios Jur  dicos de Louisiana Sudeste, un programa sin fines lucrativos que ofrece servicios legales gratuitos a personas de ingresos bajos a traves de 22 parroquias de Louisiana. Find more resources on www.LouisianaLawHelp.org. Encuentre mas recursos en www.LouisianaLawHelp.org