Social Security (SSA) is doing anything and everything they can these days to recoup monies paid out to Social Security beneficiaries in error. One way is reviewing claims to see if there might be an overpayment on them. Overpayments often arise when the claimant has received, is receiving or will receive workers’ compensation indemnity benefits.
The 1965 Social Security Amendments required that Disability Insurance benefits be reduced when the worker is also eligible for periodic or lump-sum workers’ compensation payments, so that the combined amount of workers’ compensation and SS disability benefits does not exceed 80 percent of the worker’s average current earnings. The combined payments after the reduction, however, will never be less than the amount of total SS disability benefits before the reduction. The intent of this offset provision is to ensure that the combined benefits from workers’ comp and SS are not excessive. The offset of Disability Insurance benefits applies to disabled workers under the age of 65 and their families.
Communication is important if you are receiving Social Security benefits and workers’ compensation.
Every workers’ compensation payment MUST be reported to Social Security as soon as possible, just as every elimination of workers’ compensation should be reported so that Social Security benefits can be reinstated to the full amount. You may think your workers’ compensation attorney is doing this for you, and they may be, but SSA may not be applying the information that is sent. It’s in your best interest to take it to your local SSA office yourself and get something showing that it was received.
What should you do if you were overpaid?
There is an appeal process that you can follow. First, you can file a Request for Waiver of Overpayment. This will get you a face-to-face interview at your local SSA office.
If the overpayment is not waived, then you can file a Request for Reconsideration. The calculation of the overpayment will be reviewed and you will receive more detail about it once decided. If, in the end, you have to repay the monies, you can file an SSA-795, which acknowledges the overpayment and allows you to make payments for up to 36 months.