Without Fault - Overpayment

If you are trying to ask the Social Security Administration to waive an overpayment amount, you must first satisfy a basic two prong test:

  1. The Beneficiary must be without fault, AND The Beneficiary must be unable to afford to repay without risking the ability to provide for basic needs, OR
  2. Recovery of the overpayments would be "Against equity and good conscience"

Assessing whether an individual is “without fault” for overpayment depends on the circumstances surrounding the overpayment. The Social Security Administration will take into account any of your physical, mental, educational, or language limitations (including an inability to speak English). The SSA will also consider your understanding of (or ability to understand) the reporting requirements . Lastly, the SSA will look at any efforts and opportunities you made to comply with the reporting requirements.

Although the finding depends on all of the circumstances, an individual will be found to be at fault if the overpayment resulted from one of the following:

  1. Failure to provide information which the individual knew or should have known was material;
  2. An incorrect statement made by the individual which the individual knew or should have known was incorrect, or
  3. The individual did not return a payment which the individual knew or should have known was incorrect.
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