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Social Security May Demand Benefit Repayments

Author Lloyd Lofton in a report on the Insurance Newsnet site notes that the Social Security Administration (SSA) in increasing numbers is advising beneficiaries they are on the hook for repaying SSA for funds recipients got that were mistakenly more than they were supposed to be paid. This can occur even though the overpayments were the fault of SSA’s own miscalculation. The repayment “clawback” letters typically set a short time for the repayment to be received. The CBS television news program “60 Minutes” also recently did a feature segment on this issue. Lofton says the SSA’s Acting Commissioner, Kilolo Kijakazi, admitted in Congressional testimony that nearly 1 million Americans received repayment demand letters in fiscal year 2023. “However,” says Lofton, “the shocking revelation is that more than 2 million Americans annually are informed about overpayments — double the official figure.” Older and disabled Americans can find themselves in this predicament even if they properly followed procedures when applying for Social Security. Beneficiaries do have the right to appeal both the repayment demand and the amount. Additionally, they can request a waiver if they believe the error was not their fault and if repaying the sum is financially unfeasible. The SSA says it will not pursue recovery of funds while an initial appeal or waiver is pending.

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