Hello and and thank you for your question. For over 35 years, I have answered questions just like yours. And I look forward to assisting you.
In one of the many quirks in the laws of SS, the SSA has NO statute of limitations that can be used as a defense to not paying. However, you DO have a remedy that will work. Rather than fighting whether you have to pay back or not, go to any SSA office and fill out a form known as a Waiver of Overpayment. On the form, as to the reason you need to state, type or print that you received the money over 31 years ago and that the funds were used for schooling. Note, this is a valid purpose for applying benefits. By fling this form, the SSA will review it and most likely grant your request. If they do not, file another form called Request for a Hearing. At the hearing, a judge will hear your side and agree how ridiculous it is now for the SSA to seek collection. Note, this works so please follow my advice.
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