Overpayment notices arrive like incoming missiles, shattering the fragile stasis of the lives of disability paymnet recipients. Frequently there are errors in the notices, many caused by Social Secuity itself. A common situation is one where the client has reported income and Social Security has failed to record it. Often a skilled advocate can challenge the amount due, whether any amount is due, and/or create a reasonable payback plan that doesn’t put a client out on the street. Decisions can be appealed – judges often want to settle these complicated cases rather than spend weeks unraveling contradictory notices and book keeping problems.
A recent posting on an HIV list-serve by Hilary Armstrong, Senior Attorney with
AIDS Legal Services at Law Foundation of Silicon Valley notes that
clients who have a 100% Medicare Part D subsidy, POMS GN 02210.030(B)(6) requires SSA to accept a $10 per month repayment plan offer for any overpayment, even if that would not allow full recovery within 36 months: “If a negotiated/requested rate would not permit recovery within 36 months but the debtor has a 100% Medicare Part D subsidy, grant, without financial development, any request that is at least $10.” SSA may apply this POMS section even when the underlying overpayment is significant (i.e. $15,000-50,000), though it does usually require actually printing out the section and highlighting the applicable part for the claims representative. Sometimes SSA will accept $10 per month plans for clients without Medicare who would be financially eligible for a 100% Medicare Part D subsidy (i.e. SSI only clients).