SSDI overpayment for heart transplant do I have repay it?
Recently on our disability forum a user asked, I had a heart transplant last year and I was out of work for one year. I was granted Social Security Disability Insurance while I was unable to work. Unfortunately, I returned to work for several months without notifying the SSA and now they are saying that I have a SSDI overpayment. What are my options? I do not have the money to repay the Social Security Administration.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has very strict requirements for receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Specifically, you must have a severe health condition which is expected to last 12 continuous months and does not allow you work. Additionally, you must have enough credits to be insured for SSDI and you must not be working or making too much money.
When you received your heart transplant the SSA realized that you would be too ill to work for at least one year. After you returned to work, however, it was incumbent upon you to contact the SSA and notify them that your health had improved and you were returning to work to perform what they call substantial gainful activity (SGA). Your failure to this, as you now understand, has led to a SSDI overpayment.
Options for your SSDI overpayment
If the SSA sends you a notification of an overpayment the first step is to review the information carefully. The information should tell you why you have been overpaid, what options you have for repaying the monies, and your rights for challenging the overpayment request- referred to as your waiver rights.
Although it is possible for the SSA to make a mistake in calculating SSDI overpayments, if you admit to returning to work and making too much money to qualify for SSDI then its likely you really were overpaid. Under some conditions, you may still be able to contact the SSA and request a waiver to avoid repayment, but if you really were overpaid and the overpayment is due to your own actions, its likely your waiver will be refused.
Steps after SSDI overpayment
So what happens if you were actually overpaid and owe the SSA money? First, if you were still receiving SSDI benefits they would simply withhold the owed amount until you repaid the overpayment. Because they have terminated your SSDI payments, however, you have several options. You can simply write the SSA a check for the full amount of the overpayment or you can contact them and discuss how you can repay them through a repayment plan.
What if I never repay the SSA the SSDI overpayment?
The government generally gets their money. If you do not repay the SSA immediately they have several steps they can take to get repaid. Specifically, they may simply garnish your paycheck, garnish your current or future federal tax refunds, or report the nonpayment to a collections agency and allow them to hassle you until you decide to pay the money.
If you have been notified that you owe the SSA money and you know the SSA has not made a mistake. its best to immediately contact them and outline a repayment plan.