Did the Social Security Administration Send You Too Much Money? What to Do – CNET

Did the Social Security Administration accidentally send you more money than you usually get? If so, you may not have to pay that extra money back, due to some new rules the Social Security Administration has concerning overpayments. In March, SSA Commissioner Martin O’Malley laid out a four-step plan to help beneficiaries who receive overpayments without knowing their benefits didn’t actually increase.

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We’ll explain what’s happening with Social Security overpayments and how it could affect you. For more, here’s the Social Security payment schedule, and here’s info on the maximum amount of Social Security you can get each month

How does a Social Security overpayment happen?

There are several reasons why overpayments may occur, according to the Social Security Administration — for instance, you start a new job and don’t report your work in a timely manner, or you continue to receive payments during an appeal.

The SSA says it handles overpayments on a case-by-case basis, so if you receive a notice, it’s best to contact the agency, especially if you think it’s a mistake. In the case of an error, you can submit an appeal.

How will the new rules change Social Security repayments?

On March 20, 2024, Commissioner O’Malley introduced a four-step plan to change how claimants who receive an overpayment can repay it. 

First, as of March 25, the Social Security administration will no longer take back 100% of Social Security benefits when a claimant doesn’t respond to a demand for repayment notice. The default withholding amount will now be 10%.

Second, claimants will no longer have to show proof of whether they were at fault in causing overpayments. Instead, that responsibility will lie within the agency if it believes the beneficiary was at fault for receiving the overpayment.

Third, the period for repayment will be extended from 36 months to 60 months. This longer payback period will give beneficiaries more time to pay, so that less money will be taken from their monthly checks.

Last, the agency will make it easier for beneficiaries to request a waiver if they are not at fault or can’t afford to repay the money back.

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