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Some social security recipients were overpaid during pandemic shutdown; here’s what to do

SOCIAL-SECURITY-BENEFITS

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) — The Social Security Administration acknowledges some recipients were overpaid by no fault of their own when offices were closed for COVID-19 from March to September 2020. People can now fill out a waiver to avoid paying the money back.

According to an internal message to Social Security offices, they are expecting to receive a short-term increase in overpayment waiver requests. The overpayment is the result of some payments not being processed correctly during the pandemic. 

“We are implementing a streamlined overpayment waiver process for cases where our deferral of certain actions contributed to overpayments between March 2020 and September 2020,” the government website says.

The Social Security Administration says here’s what you should do if you think you are not at fault for overpayment and cannot afford to pay the money back or you are not at fault and think the overpayment is unfair for some other reason:

Nate Rees works at the Center Toward Self Reliance in Pueblo helping people with disabilities navigate their social security benefits. Rees said if people were overpaid, they should get a notice a few months after the overpayment occurred.

"Usually it will also state the amount of pay that they were overpaid," said Rees.

The amount of overpayment will depend on the person.

"The sizable amounts range from anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or even more,” Rees said.

Rees adds that one downside to requesting a repayment waiver is that the Social Security Administration may be less likely to waive repayment if it happens again in the future.

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Lauren Barnas

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