Changes to Social Security overpayment policies

The Social Security Administration has announced four changes to its policies about overpayments.

  1. Reducing the default withholding rate for overpayments from Social Security benefits from 100 percent of monthly benefits to 10 percent of monthly benefits.
  2. Shifting the burden of proof away from the claimant when determining whether the claimant was at fault in causing the overpayment. This change should make it easier to have waiver of overpayment granted.
  3. Increasing the possible timeframe for a payment plan from 36 months to 60 months. This change should make it easier to enter into and follow repayment agreements.
  4. Making it easier to request waiver of overpayment. The policy is not specific about now it will be easier to request waiver of overpayment.

The change in default withholding is effective March 25, 2024.  There is an exception when the overpayment is the result of fraud.

If people who receive overpayment notices are March 25, 2024 are incorrectly subject to 100 percent withholding, they should call 1-800-772-1213 to lower their withholding rate.

For overpayments established before March 25, 2024 that have a withholding rate greater than ten percent, people can ask for a lower recovery rate by callin Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or contacting their local Social Security office. If a beneficiary requests a withholding rate lower than ten percent, Social Security can the request if the overpayment will be repaid within 60 months.  If the beneficiary’s proposed repayment rate would extend recovery of the overpayment beyond 60 months, Social Security will gather income, resource, and expense information from the beneficiary and make a determination about the repayment rate. (Social Security Dear Colleague Letters, March 20, 2024 and March 29, 2024.)

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