Presentation on theme: "VCU Benefits Assistance Resource Center Overview of SSA Work-Related Overpayments John Coburn, Consultant Virginia Commonwealth University."— Presentation transcript:
VCU Benefits Assistance Resource Center Overview of SSA Work-Related Overpayments John Coburn, Consultant Virginia Commonwealth University
Overpayment Basics: What You Need to Know as the BPAO Project
Overpayments Happen –For many reasons, individuals receive overpayments from Social Security Administration when they become employed. –The best defense is a good offense---- beneficiaries must report work income on a regular basis.
Overpayments Happen –There is a difference between MORAL fault and LEGAL fault. While some may feel it is unfair to collect an overpayment from them, the law may still allow SSA to do so.
What is the BPAO Role? Advise consumer that current decisions about employment will not impact overpayment decisions. Provide support to consumer. Advise consumer of options and deadlines.
What is the BPAO Role? Refer consumer for representation to PABSS, if applicable, or other legal services organization. Provide evidence to build consumer’s case.
Consumer’s Legal Options in… Dealing with an Overpayment File a Request for Reconsideration File a Waiver Negotiate a Payment Plan
Request for Reconsideration SSA-561-U2 Form: “Request for Reconsideration” or Letter “The overpayment amount is incorrect and/or I was not overpaid.” Must be filed within 60 days unless good cause (5 day mailing rule applies).
Request for Reconsideration SSA will not recoup amount of overpayment until AFTER decision is made on Request for Reconsideration. When possible, a Request for Reconsideration should be filed.
Request for Reconsideration Consumer and/or their advocates must be proactive in filing a Request for Reconsideration. BPAO staff can be particularly helpful in providing evidence for a Request for Reconsideration.
Analysis of a Reconsideration Case: What Might the BPAO Know that Will “Make the Case.” Are the SSI calculations correct? Did SSA properly determine the Trial Work Period, Extended Period of Eligibility etc.?
Analysis of a Reconsideration Case: What Might the BPAO Know that Will “Make the Case.” Did SSA know about and consider IRWEs, the Student Earned Income Exclusion, Subsidies, etc? Could the individual have reapplied for benefits during the overpayment period?
Request for Reconsideration: Appeals Process Administrative Law Judge SSA Appeals Council Federal Court
Request for Waiver of Overpayment Form SSA-632-BK: “Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery or Change in Repayment Rate” May be filed at ANY TIME.
Request for Waiver of Overpayment SSA will cease recoupment when filed. Therefore, recoupment will not begin if filed within 30 days of notice. Administrative Waiver: $500 or less.
Request for Waiver of Overpayment Current SSI beneficiaries do not have to complete entire waiver form.
Requirements to Receive Favorable Waiver Decision PART 1 Was the Beneficiary without FAULT in Causing the Overpayment?
Waiver Fault Test SSA will consider individual’s age and intelligence as well as any physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitations.
Waiver Fault Test SSA will find fault if the overpayment resulted from: –An incorrect statement made by the individual which he/she knew or should have known to be incorrect;
Waiver Fault Test –A failure to furnish information which he/she knew or should have known to be material; –An acceptance of payment which he/she knew or could have been expected to know was incorrect.
Requirements to Receive a Favorable Waiver Decision PART 2 Three Alternative Questions: 1.Would Recovery Defeat the Purpose of the SSI/SSDI Program?
Requirements to Receive a Favorable Waiver Decision PART 2 Three Alternative Questions: 2.Would Recovery be Against Equity and Good Conscience?
Requirements to Receive a Favorable Waiver Decision PART 2 Three Alternative Questions: 3.Would Recovery Impede the Effective and efficient Administration of the SSI Program?
Waiver Test Part 2: Undue Hardship SSI Beneficiaries automatically meet this test.
Waiver Test Part 2: Undue Hardship SSDI Beneficiaries must prove hardship: Resources less than $3000
Waiver Test Part 2: Undue Hardship SSDI Beneficiaries must prove hardship: All income is used to meet ordinary and necessary living expenses: food and clothing, rent, mortgage, utilities, maintenance, insurance, taxes, medical expenses, expenses to support others (legal responsibility), other expenses reasonably considered past of standard of living
Waiver Test Part 2: Equity and Good Conscience Financial Circumstances Irrelevant Change position for worse or relinquish valuable right because of reliance
Waiver Test Part 2: Equity and Good Conscience SSI Resource Recoupment ($50 rule and limited collection rule) Change position for worse or relinquish valuable right because of reliance
Waiver Test Part 2: Efficient Administration of SSI Amount of overpayment is less than cost of collection. $500 Rule for SSI and SSDI.
Waiver Appeal Process SSI Beneficiaries-- Request for Reconsideration ALJ Hearing Appeals Council Federal Court
Waiver Appeal Process SSDI Beneficiaries-- If personal conference held, you can go straight to ALJ stage. There is no Request for Reconsideration stage. Otherwise, same appeal process as SSI.
Waiver & Recoupment For both SSDI and SSI, recoupment will stop when a waiver request is made.
Waiver & Recoupment For SSDI beneficiaries, recoupment cannot begin until AFTER the individual has been given an opportunity for a personal conference and declined, or the waiver is denied after personal conference is held.
Waiver & Recoupment For SSI beneficiaries, recoupment cannot begin until AFTER the determination of the waiver is made, unless a Request for Reconsideration of that waiver denial is filed within 30 days.
Adjustment of Benefits SSI: 10% or less rule. SSDI: All can and will be taken. Hardship exception. ALWAYS WORK OUT A PAYMENT PLAN!
NEGOTIATION Always an option at any stage in the process. Highly encouraged as SSA is very reasonable in coming up with a payment plan. Informed decision about waiving of rights.
Other Methods of Recoupment Tax Refund New Wage Garnishment Rules