SSDI Says They Have OVERPAID Since 2007?

D got a letter from Social Security telling her that they’re stopping her checks because they’ve noticed she’s been overpaid since 2007 and she owes them $46,000.00.

D has been working part time because she’s allowed to work so many hours per year and she’s been keeping up with it religiously and not working more than that. But SS says they’ve overpaid her since 2007???

Why are they just now finding this out???

She’s appealing it, of course, but we were shocked at this news, to say the least.

Anyone ever had this happen?



This situation is not unusual. She needs representation at her hearing on the appeal. I’d suggest she apply for help from the local Legal Services office, if they do SS cases.

Also, I reported this for a forum change. Don’t think GQ is the place for the thread.

Wow- that sounds nuts. My minor son gets SSI, and it goes by my income, so I have to report all income to them. Is that the case with D? The opposite just happened to me- they said they’d been underpaying for a couple of years and so owed me over $3,000. Unfortunately, you can’t have that much money and still qualify for SSI, so I had to open a separate bank account just for that money to sit in and can’t touch it. Gah, I hate the government sometimes!

Not logical. In 4 years they have overpaid her by 11,000 a year. How big have her payments been?

Alice, that is the most brilliant Catch 22 I have ever heard of!

They don’t pay you money to which you are entitled, but as soon as they do, the fact that they have paid you means that you are no longer entitled to it!

Sheer staggering genius. Somebody deserves the Sir Humphrey Appleby Memorial Nobel Prize in Bureaucracy with Oakleaf Cluster for that one. And a Vogon poem in their honour.

Since the OP is asking for personal experiences, this is better suited to IMHO than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

What’s the basis of the appeal? The bare fact that D doesn’t want to repay it?

All of my paperwork regarding things like this state that you can appeal to not have to repay an overpayment if the overpayment was made through no fault of your own. So there’s that.

And yes, Noel, clusterfuck indeed. I could spend the money on medical needs, but my son doesn’t need any special equipment or medication, so I can’t spend it. I’m tempted to, though, because it wouldn’t be a crime- I’d just have to pay it back, eventually.

It has happend to enough people I know. I know after my mum died, SS kept sending me her check for 11 months. Then I got a letter saying my dead mother owed it back to them.

Of course, I just went in and showed them the checks, uncashed, and they cleared it up in like 30 seconds.

It happens a lot. I know of a lady on food stamps, I worked with last summer, she had a temp job then the aid office said, like six month later, she shouldn’t have gotten them for the month she worked and then reduced her future benefits by $25 a month till she repaid what she got for that month.

Sometimes it takes awhile for records to catch up.

I know in Illinois, you can go after people for unemployment claims up to two years after they paid you. By that I mean if you can prove the person filed a claim and it involved fraud or them lying, the company can appeal and the state goes after that person to get the unemployment back.

I know I worked in H/R in the late 90s the first thing I did was review the unemployment claims and the ones I felt had no basis or potential for fraud, I appealed and we won with two of the appeals, so those people had to pay the state back their unemployment money.

That’s government for you :slight_smile:

Now that’s a brilliant analysis.

I only wonder which ass they expect her to pull it from. It doesn’t matter how much money you owe; if you have no means to pay then it’s just a big scare tactic to intimidate you into borrowing from family members asap.

Yeah, rache (okay to call you that, btw?), they even enclosed a place for us to put our (non-existent) credit card number to take care of the debt.

Oakie, thanks for checking in! I knew my friend with legal advice (not taken as legal representation! :)) might be here, thanks!

I know we will need a lawyer, and I also know that a “normal” (one who would take this “pro bono”) lawyer isn’t the way to go.

I agree that this is a ridiculous request from SSDI, and we sure don’t need this shit right now, when I’m running up all kinds of medical bills because of my dementia, but we’re hoping that our appeal will make some judge go, “HUH?

Rand Rover: We cannot repay it, and we don’t even know how this happened!

Just one more hurdle we need to get over.

I’m just glad I have a very strong woman standing beside me.



WTF kinda question is that? You’re a lawyer. Would you just assume that the government is right, and advise your clients to pay up without looking into it? Of course not. You’re going to want to see what administrative remedies may exist, determine what actually happened, and negotiate for a better deal if possible. Failing that, you’re going to go forward with a hearing, and see what happens. Might go through more than one level of administrative hearings. Might seek judicial review eventually. That’s what we do. You know that. Or you should.

Even knowing nothing about this particular case other than what is in the OP, you know that the SSA is demanding money. The available options are to pay up, or appeal. If you appeal, you must do it within the allowed time limit. Better to get the appeal filed before the time runs, and then conduct your usual investigation, records review, etc.

Don’t bother. Arguing with Rand Rover (and it will turn into an argument if you talk with him) will just get you angry and nothing else. Save your words for someone who will listen without turning this into a debate about RR’s peculiar ethics system.

Oh, you believe him? Huh.

Well, I think it makes sense for someone to appeal a decision when they have reason to believe that the decision is wrong. I was just asking the OP what his reason is. So far it seems like he doesn’t have one–he just doesn’t want to repay.

However, I’m not familiar with these procedures. If the appeal is the administrative method one must use to determine the reason the government is asserting an overpayment in the first place, then fine. I just expected that the government already sent a letter explaining why they are now asserting an overpayment–maybe they didn’t.

The basic reason seems to be buried, and very hard to find, in the OP:

Do you think a lawyer might be able to build an argument based on that, assuming it’s true?

Yes, I agree that the OP hints at both the reason for the decision and the basis of the appeal, but he doesn’t really explain either. I was asking him to explain.

“Assuming it’s true”?

Jesus, I never expected to be called a liar, here, of all places. I’ll dig out the fucking paperwork for you. I was only asking what the alternatives might be, and stating that it was being appealed.

Quasi. Seriously, pedescribe is right. Do not engage Rand Rover on this. His posts in other threads indicate he is entirely without compassion. You know those ‘lawyer jokes’? The lawyers in them would be ashamed by what he’s posted elsewhere. If you engage him you will become angry and hurt.

Rand Rover: Please lay off Quasi. Don’t be a jerk.