Dec 25, 2013

Old Overpayment Waived

     Social Security has waived a 41 year old overpayment of $493.80 for one man. Great for him but it's time for a statute of limitations on Social Security overpayments.


Anonymous said...

Why should one receive an undue enrichment and not pay it back. Considering that the relationship between claimant and the Agency is a lifetime one, why should the Agency forgive overpayments when they can collect when the claimant begins to receive benefits again at retirement?? Perhaps the claimant could ask for waiver of overpayment by agreeing to never apply for any benefits ever again??

Anonymous said...

re: 2:28pm

I agree with you in part. However, the agency has a problem. In almost every one of these cases, the idiots running this agency have destroyed all the records relating to these overpayments. It is not possible for the agency to prove that an overpayment actually exists beyond just saying it is so. And, unfortunately, the agency isn't very credible related to overpayments given its inept and obselete debt management system.

As a result, collection of overpayments less than $1000 is an exercise in futility - the agency literally can't prove fault, so the overpayment will always be waiveable under the $1000 administrative tolerance. Overpayments over $1000 are subject to the waiver process. Again, the agency can't establish fault. Depending upon the amounts, if the claimant pursues the waiver through the ALJ, again it will be waived as the agency normally can produce no concrete proof of the overpayment. Plus, the ALJs simply don't like wasting time on these things (especially in my experience for anything less than $10k or so).

The agency just needs to bite the bullet and give it up.

Fat chance it will happen, though.

Anonymous said...

Charles, I am surprised that you, as a lawyer, do not understand the actual concept of statute of limitations. These overpayments were legally adjudicated timely, but the beneficiaries avoided repayment as long as they could. It is no different from anyone else subject to legal action who , for example, escaped imprisonment or jumped bail, and were recaptured years later. The statute of limitations applies to the original offense--avoiding punishment does not free them from reprisal due to the time interval that they created.

Anonymous said...

almost all overpayments under $1,000 are waived.

I forget the POMS reference, but it is due to administrative cost associated with collection.

Anonymous said...

The small ones under a $1,000 are more amusing because the claimant also files a request for reconsideration on the issue after the local office has waived it and then goes on some hell-bent crusade through their congressman's office as if to vindicate themselves when they are the ones who reported a $14,000 work estimate instead of the $18,000 they actually earned.