Back in May we received a fee of $5,911 on a client. That's what the "maximum fee" of $6,000 comes to after the "user fee." On November 20, we received a fee of $65.86. I sent the $65.86 back to the Social Security field office since it was in excess of what we are supposed to receive. Today, I received another check for $65.86 in the case.
I could send the money back to Social Security but they may reissue the check to me once again. I could send the money to my client since it's almost certainly supposed to go to him but later Social Security may declare me overpaid by $65.86 and they won't care that I sent the money directly to the client. As far as they're concerned, it's always their money that's been overpaid and a direct payment to the client doesn't resolve the overpayment. I could tear up the check but the money really should go to the client. I could spend a lot of time on the phone trying to convince Social Security to take the money back from me and reissue it to my client but it's only $65.86 and it may not matter how much time we spend on the phone about this.
What would you do?