Get the form called Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery or Change in Repayment Rate. You can get the form online or at any Social Security Office.
A waiver can be requested at any time, even if you have paid back some or all of the overpayment.
Showing That the Overpayment is Not Your Fault
You have to show that you didn’t know or understand what caused you to be overpaid.
Some reasons that may show the overpayment was not your fault are:
- You reported the item or event that caused the overpayment.
- You did not understand the reporting requirement.
- You have trouble reading.
- You have a representative payee.
A counselor, case manager, friend, health care provider or relative can give you a statement to help convince the SSA that it wasn’t your fault. If you need help filling out the form, ask a worker at SSA to help you.
Showing You Can’t Afford to Repay
SSA realizes that if you get cash public assistance, you can’t afford to repay. This can include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), VA benefits and Reach Up. (The following are not considered cash public assistance: food stamps, Medicaid, unemployment and workers’ compensation.)
If you get cash public assistance, fill out the first three pages and the last page of the waiver request form and submit the form.
Note: Questions 3 and 4 do not need to be answered unless a representative payee is completing the waiver request.
If you do not get cash public assistance, you need fill out the whole form. List all of your living expenses. If all of your monthly income is needed for your expenses and you have no other bank accounts or other resources, SSA should find that you don’t have the ability to pay back the overpayment.
Some expenses that people forget to list are:
- over-the-counter medicines or vitamins
- pet care
- snow removal
- lawn service
- cleaning products
- personal care and other non-food grocery items
- haircuts, newspapers and magazines
- birthday and holiday gifts
- entertainment, dry cleaning
- cable TV and internet service
Tip: To get a monthly amount for expenses you don’t have every month, add up the total you pay in one year. Divide the total by 12. Use that amount for your monthly expense. For example, you pay $24 for snow removal 10 times. That’s $240. $240 divided by 12 = $20 monthly.
Tell SSA about things you don’t have because you can’t pay for them. For example, your washing machine is broken, but you can’t afford to have it fixed or buy a new one.
If you have money in a bank, you should explain why the money can’t be used to repay the overpayment. Use the section called “Remarks” on the last page of the form. For example, you need the money to pay bills that you owe, or you are saving money to buy new dentures or a washing machine, or you need it for your property taxes.
Once you have finished the waiver of overpayment form, mail it to your local SSA Office or drop it off there in person.