One common misconception about disability benefits is that you may have to pay back the money you received from the federal government if you get better. There are only a few types of situations where the federal government might demand a repayment. One situation involves overpayment, where the government determines that it paid you too much money for disability or supplemental security income.
If You Have Received an Overpayment Demand Letter, Speak to an Attorney
Even if the government sends you a letter stating that it has made an overpayment and demands you repay it a certain amount of money, there is a chance you may not actually have to do so. If you receive such an overpayment demand letter, you should immediately talk to a disability attorney about what your options are when responding to these demands.
When Does Overpayment Occur?
An overpayment occurs after you have been found disabled, received payments from the government, and the government later determines that you are receiving more money for one or more months than the amount you should have been paid.
There are many reasons that the government may claim you owe it an overpayment. The government might make a mistake in calculating your benefits based upon an administrative error or other mistakes in the information it used to calculate the payments it owes. Other common reasons may include changes in your:
- living situation,
- marital status,
- income, or
- other financial resources available to you.
Also, if the government decides that you are no longer disabled, you may be expected to repay the government benefits you received after your condition improved.
What Does the Overpayment Letter Request?
Regardless of the reason, if the government believes there has been a overpayment, it will contact you by mail with a request for a refund of this money. This request will regularly demand the full amount of all overpayments the government claims it is due and will state that you have thirty days to make this payment.
Of course, you are probably not going to have a large amount of money saved up to pay whatever the government demands from you. The demand letters you receive from the government will likely provide you with some options as well as some basic information about your rights. You may be able to challenge the government’s determination that an overpayment occurred. Or you can try to get them to grant you an exception.
For ongoing disability or supplemental security income payments, the government might also propose that it withhold a certain percentage of your ongoing monthly payments. While the demand letter can provide you with some useful information, this is the point where you should immediately speak with a attorney for help.
To Learn About How You Can Challenge an Overpayment Letter, Contact Us Today
If you have received a overpayment notice, a disability attorney can help you challenge it. To learn more, contact Uscher, Quiat, Uscher & Russo, P.C. today.