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I have a fairly straightforward case that I would like to…

I have a fairly...

I have a fairly straightforward case that I would like to get advice about. Basically to know if it is Social Security "law" or not.

Accountant's Assistant: The Retirement Accountant will know how to help. Please tell me more, so we can help you best.

My husband passed in 2011. After his passing, I received a widow's payment from social security. I am now told that he "owed some money back" to Social Security (I do not know the specific reason). Now I am of full retirement age, I am beginning to get Social Security based upon my own earnings. The social security people say that they were deducting some money each month during the widow's payment period to help pay back what my husband owed. Now they say I have to pay it. Since it is not for a reason concerning me, and my earnings, do I have to repay the rest of my husband's former debt?

Accountant's Assistant: These retirement benefits are supposed to help us but they can be so complicated! The Retirement Expert will help you get the most benefits propertly. Is there anything else the Retirement Accountant should be aware of?

Not that I know about.

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Answered in 1 day by:
3/14/2018
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I am still waiting for some assistance. I would really appreciate a response.
Thank you!
lev-tax
lev-tax, Tax Advisor
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 33,356
Experience: Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
Verified

An overpayment occurs when Social Security pays you more than you should have been paid.

If this happens, they notify you. The SSA notice tells you why you have been overpaid and how you can pay that amount back.

Whether that is correct assessment or not - we may determined when that letter is examined.

The information you provided is not enough to make such determination.

.

HOWEVER - regardless - you still have some steps that may reduce or prevent garnishments.

Please consider following...

.

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

.

Please verify which action is more suitable for your situation.

Ask Your Own Social Security Question
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
The issue is that it was NOT ME who was overpaid. It was my deceased husband. Do I have to pay back HIS overpayment out of MY social security (MY earnings, not his). Please advise.

In general - you are NOT responsible - if that is not your debt.

But because you were receiving benefits based on your spouse's working record (widow benefits) - his responsibility may be applied to benefits paid to family members from his account.

They should not however garnish benefits calculated based on your own account unless your widow benefits were overpaid.

Still - you may request reconsideration - and in similar situations the SSA may abate over-payment.

Ask Your Own Social Security Question
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you, ***** ***** do the reconsideration request. Do I send that to the general Social Security address, or a specific department?

See here GN 02205.003 Pri***** *****ability for Title II Overpayment Recovery

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202205003

Generally, the overpaid person (including a representative payee) is responsible for repayment of an overpayment. If the overpaid person dies, his or her estate, or the beneficiaries of the estate, is responsible for repayment of the overpayment.

The estates, or the beneficiaries of the estates, responsibility is limited to the extent of the proceeds of the estate.

.

An incorrect payment is not an overpayment and is not subject to overpayment procedures or protections. Incorrect payments are subject to reclamation action by the Department of Treasury. For more information on what is not an overpayment, see GN 02201.001F. Notice and waiver do not apply to incorrect payments. For specific instructions to recover an incorrect payment, see GN 02401.917.

.

See also

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202205005

B. Example of contingent liability for overpayment recovery

Carol Curtis is dually entitled to a retirement benefit of $135 (on her own record) and a widow's benefit of $210. We overpaid Mrs. Curtis' deceased husband $980 due to his work and earnings. There is no estate. Because Mrs. Curtis is contingently liable for repayment from the widow’s benefit she receives on her husband's record, we will propose recovery of the $210 monthly benefit. Mrs. Curtis will continue to receive her $135 retirement benefit.

lev-tax
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Satisfied Customers: 33,356
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