Are there statute of limitations for the SSA to collect overpayments?

Asked about 2 years ago - Vicksburg, MS

Is there a statute of limitations the SSA can collect overpayments from a person who received Social Security Disability Income and Woker's Comp? My spouse was injured on his job in 1992 and received Worker's comp for 8 1/2 years. He also received long-term disability payments and continues to receive it to date. His employer offset the Worker's comp payments from his LTD checks. SSA recently wrote requesting the amounts of Worker's comp payments and any settlement amount. Is there a statute of limitations SSA can request any overpayments for Title II Social Security benefits?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Jennifer Wynn Frampton

    Contributor Level 7

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am unaware of any statute of limitations regarding overpayments. Unfortunately, it often takes the government years to realize they overpaid a claimant. Worker's compensation issues do result in many Social Security Disability overpayments. That said, I am a little confused by your question. You say that the LTD carrier offset the worker's compensation payments. Are you certain it wasn't the SSD? The only reason I mention this is because long term disability will not offset SSD but worker's compensation will. Most of the time the effect of a worker's compensation settlement will stop any further SSD offset so if you have this paperwork be sure to show it to SSA. Also, make sure you provide information documenting any paid attorney fees if your spouse had a worker's compensation attorney.
    It does not sound like SSA actually sent you a Notice of Overpayment yet. If there is an overpayment they will send you a letter and you have the option of appealing the overpayment or filing a waiver or doing both. If you file a waiver you have to prove that the overpayment was not your fault and you cannot afford to pay it back. I hope this helps; best of luck to you.

  2. Clifford Michael Farrell

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The short answer is no. I have seen SSA go back 20 or more years. The reason is the application a person signs at the time they file a claim for disability benefits specifically states that it is that person's responsibility to keep SSA up to date on all changes in several matters, icluding workers' compensations payments. This includes increases, decreasesand settlements. And they require a person to sign off on the form. If someone does not see it, or does not read it or understand it, or forgets, SSA does not care.

    On the other hand, if the workers' comp was reported at the time of application and has not changed, there should not be a problem.

    You may want to talk to an attorney in your area so you can review the specific facts with counsel. You may contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. Most attorneys who do any amount of Social Security work are members of NOSSCR and provide a free initial consultation. In any event, no attorney may charge a fee for work on a social security claim until it has been approved by Social Security. The fee limit is a maximum of 25% of past due or back due benefits you are owed, and many lawyers charge less than the full 25%, and the money is not paid until your claim has been approved.

    The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is www.nosscr.org.

    In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.

    Their link is: http://www.nblsc.us/

    You may also contact NADR (National Association of Disability Representatives) www.nadr.org – automated Telephone Referral System at 1-800-747-6131

    I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
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  3. Brian S Wayson

    Contributor Level 19

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . My colleagues are correct, they will go back and try to ding one as much as they can. One needs to (1) appeal the existence of the overpayment as soon as notified of the alleged overpayment; (2) ask for continuing benefits (which might result in a bigger overpayment if one ultimately loses the appeal) if one wants them to keep arriving each month while the dispute is settled; (3) Ask for a waiver of collection on the overpayment as the alleged overpayment was not the fault of the claimant, all required reporting was performed, and collection of the overpayment would be contrary to the intent of the program.

    Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice,... more

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