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Angie
Angie, Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 225
Experience:  Bookkeeping, Profit and Loss, Balance SheetsAll types of US Taxes, Tennessee taxes, Personal, business, payroll, sales tax etc.
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I need answers to questions I have about Social Security

Customer Question

I need answers to questions I have about Social Security Disability overpayments. I am on Social Security Disability and they claim I owe them over $11,000 in benefits I was not entitled to because I earned more than the monthly benefit of $1070 in 2014 and $1090 in 2015. I need answers to the following questions: (1) Can Social Security place a lien on my personal property if I can't pay back the money? (2) Can Social Security take money from my checking account? (3) Can Social Security garnish any money I receive from unemployment benefits? (4) Will Social Security work out a compromise on the amount of money I owe them if I don't have steady work or will a lawyer be able to compromise with Social Security? (5) I talked to a Social Security representative from Birmingham, Alabama, today and he said that medical bills that I paid, transportation costs I had paid, and miscellaneous job related expenses that I paid would not make a difference in the amount of money that I owed; is this correct? Thanks for your help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Angie replied 1 year ago.

Social security can garnish your wages, take your social security payments and place liens...

However, they will work with you for a payment plan...and you can also request a waiver of paying it back altogether.

And yes, the representative was correct, your expenses will have no affect on the amount you pay back, but you can set up a payment plan that will make it managable...or maybe even get it waived altogether.

I copied the information below from the social security website.

An overpayment occurs when Social Security pays you more than you should have been paid. If this happens, we will notify you. Our notice will tell you why you have been overpaid and how you can pay us back. We will also tell you how you can ask us to:

  • Reconsider our decision, if you believe you are not overpaid;
  • Let you pay back the amount at a different rate; or
  • Waive (not collect) the overpayment.

If you do not agree that you have been overpaid, or if you believe the amount is incorrect, you can appeal by filing Form SSA-561, Request for Reconsideration. You should explain why you think you have not been overpaid or why you think the amount is not correct.

If you agree that you have been overpaid and are willing to pay it back, but cannot afford to pay it back at the rate we tell you about in our letter, you should file Form SSA-632, Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery Or Change In Repayment Rate.

If you agree that you have been overpaid, but you feel you should not have to pay it back because you did not cause the overpayment and you cannot afford to repay it, you should file Form SSA-632, Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery Or Change In Repayment Rate.

amount in monthly installments.

If you are not receiving benefits, and you

do not pay the amount back, we can recover

the overpayment from your federal income tax

refund or from your wages if you are working.

Also, we can recover overpayments from future

SSI or Social Security benefits. We also will

report the delinquency to credit bureaus

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The information is helpful but I do need to know if Social Security will try to get money from my personal checking account or try to garnish unemployment benefits?
Expert:  Angie replied 1 year ago.

They can...but they won't if you call them and set up a payment plan. They are willing to work with you and will not use other methods if you show that you are willing to work with them.

Expert:  Angie replied 1 year ago.

SSA will generally accept an

offer to repay an overpayment in installments

without question if the installments will repay the overpayment within 36 months. If an

offer to repay in installments will take more than 36 months, SSA will ask the claimant to

prove that a financial hardship exists.SSA will also generally accept a lumpsum compromise offer of 80% of the total

overpayment. If a lump-sum offer is less than 80% of the total overpayment, SSA has discretion to consider the offer, depending on the circumstances.

Expert:  Angie replied 1 year ago.

Federal law now prevents the seizure of Social Security benefits from bank accounts; in addition, Social Security itself does not have the authority to order bank garnishments.

Your bank account will be safe....but they can use other methods of garnishment to collect if you do not contact them to set up a payment plan.

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