Lung cancer and my SSI overpayment what do I do?Recently on our disability forum a user asked, I have lung cancer. I was approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and I did not work for many months. After treatment, however, I believed I could work part-time. I did not report my earnings to the SSA and now they claim I owe them $5,000. What are my options?
What is lung cancer?Its estimated that close to 1.4 million people die each year worldwide as a result of lung cancer, and according to the National Cancer Institute, by the end of 2015 there will have been 221,200 new lung cancer diagnoses and 158,040 lung-cancer related deaths in the USA. Lung cancer is the result of cell growth which originates in the lungs, but instead of developing into healthy lung tissue, the abnormal cells divide and rapidly form tumors, eliminating the capacity of the lungs to provide adequate oxygen. While some patients with lung cancer have what are termed benign tumors, tumors which are harmless, other patients have malignant tumors which are more dangers, spreading throughout the body through a process termed metastasis. If malignant tumors spread to other body parts the chance of treating the cancer effectively is greatly reduced. SSI overpayment for lung cancer If you received an SSI overpayment notice this means the Social Security Administration (SSA) has determined that you have been paid more than you should have received. Overpayments occur for a variety of reasons: your income is greater than reported, your marital status has changed, your living situation has changed, you are no longer disabled, you returned to work, or the SSA calculated your benefits incorrectly.
What will the SSA do about an SSI overpayment?After the SSA determines you have a SSI overpayment they will send you a notification demanding a full refund within 30 days. If you are still receiving SSI, however, and you do not pay the overpayment, there are several other options available. One option is for the SSA to withhold your overpayment amount from future SSI payments, generally at the rate of the lesser of 10 percent or the entire monthly payment. Another option is to ask the SSA for a review and waiver for the overpayment, allowing you never to repay the SSI overpayment. The last option is to appeal the SSI overpayment request. The appeal request must be done within 10 days from the notice request. What if I am no longer receiving SSI for lung cancer? Although it sounds like you continue to receive SSI for lung cancer, if a claimant does not receive SSI payments and they have an SSI overpayment then the SSA has several options:
- The claimant can arrange to make monthly payments to the SSA until the overpayment is repaid.
- Do nothing and allow the SSA to withhold SSI overpayments from future federal tax income refunds.
- Do nothing and allow the SSA to make withholdings from any future SSI benefits paid.