May 1, 2010

There's A Lot Of This

From the Petaluma Press-Democrat:
You'll have to forgive Morgan Hayes if she's a bit skeptical of the latest letter she received from the Social Security Administration saying she does not need to repay a $15,300 overpayment.

Hayes, a Petaluma senior citizen, was threatened in March with having to repay that sum after a seven-month Social Security payment snafu.

Late last week, she was notified that she isn't responsible for fixing the government's error.

Hayes' saga began in September, when Hayes was credited with $13,733 and was told her monthly payment would increase by $260. Repeated letters said the lump sum was to rectify years of underpayments to her.

After multiple assurances from Social Security that the money was hers to spend, Hayes used it to pay down debt and get a newer used car.

But then in March, the government reversed itself and said the credit and monthly increase were mistakes and it wanted the money back, $15,329 in total. Worse, she was told she had 30 days to send in the full amount or her benefits would be completely cut off until it was repaid.
Yes, there are ways to take care of this sort of thing. Thank goodness Ms. Hayes eventually got help. The problem is that most people have no idea what to do. Since these cases cannot be done on a contingent fee basis most people are unable to hire someone like me to help them.

Update: The overpayment has now been waived.


John Herling said...

Did she request waiver of the OP? That's something anyone can do without the help of an attorney.

Anonymous said...

In addition to requesting waiver, a claimant can repay an overpayment in installments interest free and request reconsideration of an overpayment.