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Social Security Overpayments

March 16, 2023

By Thomas McCutcheon

Social Security makes mistakes.  Big ones.  These days, many people are getting letters from Social Security saying they have been overpaid for many years. 

In many cases, these long term errors in social security calculations add up to huge amounts. 

A family friend had been receiving social security because he could not read or write.  That person went to work, and the family notified Social Security several times that he was working.  He was informed that his employment was considered a “sheltered work environment” and those wages would not affect his social security benefits.  So, he continued to work and draw his social security benefits as Social Security had instructed. 

A few years later he received a letter from Social Security saying that he had been overpaid by $18,000.00 and Social Security was demanding repayment of the $18,000.00 within 30 days.

This person couldn’t read or understand the letter he received and when the family brought it to me, I was able to have the overpayment waived based on Social Security’s two-pronged test which is 1) the overpayment wasn’t the fault of the recipient and 2) the recipient does not have the funds with which to repay Social Security. 

Currently, Social Security is attempting to claw back 8.6 billion dollars from SSA and Social Security Disability benefits.  Terry Savage and Laurence Kotlikoff have teamed up to help people in these situations.  You can post a description of the problem at AskTerry blog at, including your email, and telephone number.  Do not specify your Social Security number.

A good book I recommend is “Get What’s Yours:  Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security” by Laurence Kotlikoff.    

Buckle up, drive safely, and as always, your referrals are appreciated! 


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