Social Security is Demanding I Pay Them. What Should I Do?

piggy bankGetting a notice that you owe the SSA money can be frightening, especially if you don’t have the money to pay them back.

But don’t worry. If you receive an overpayment notice from the SSA you have several ways to move forward.

What are my Options if I Receive a Social Security Overpayment Notice?

If you receive a notification from the SSA that they are seeking money because of a past overpayment, you have three basic paths forward:

  • Appeal the overpayment
  • Pay the SSA the requested funds
  • Request a waiver

The option to appeal is only available if the SSA did not in fact overpay you. So if the notification is correct, your only options are to pay or to request a waiver.

How Do I Appeal a Social Security Overpayment?

If you believe that an overpayment notice is incorrect, you have ten days from the day you receive a notice to request an appeal without affecting future Social Security payments.

Because of the time-sensitive nature of appeals, you should contact a social security attorney as soon as you consider requesting an appeal.

How Do I Receive a Social Security Overpayment Waiver?

You can request a waiver from an SSA payment request even if the request is correct. Asking for a waiver is like asking the SSA to forgive the amount due.

There are several ways you can obtain a waiver from an overpayment notice. You can show that:

1) You are without fault for the overpayment AND that you are unable to afford to repay.


2) You passed on another money making opportunity because of the amount you received from Social Security.


3) You purchased something more expensive than you otherwise would have (such as a car or home) because of the amount you received from Social Security.

How Does the SSA Determine if I Can Afford to Repay?

When the SSA determines if you can repay it looks at whether your current income is being spent on things like:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Utilities
  • Medical expenses
  • Rent or mortgage

If, however, you still have the funds from the overpayment or receive a back pay settlement the SSA will likely determine that you have the ability to repay.

How Do I Decide What to Do?

Because of the time sensitive nature of the process, and because individual circumstances can be complex. The best thing you can do to make the most informed decision on how to handle an SSA overpayment notification is to consult with an attorney. The Packard Law Firm is committed to helping individuals who have received overpayment notifications make the best decision for them and their families. Reach out to us today.