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The two reasons the federal government would withhold from your social security are an over-payment that has not been made whole or you owe the federal government money - namely back taxes or defaulted federal school loans. Over-payments can happen for any number of reasons including the simple miscalculation of your benefits or change in life circumstance. In both these cases the SSA should, and that agency frequently mismanages it's mail, have told you approximately 30 days ago about a possible withholding and that you had 30 days to get the funds paid or they would withhold.
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