At times, we have people who contact us because they have been issued a “Notice of Overpayment” due to resources. Because SSI is needs-based, to get benefits a person must be under the limit for both income and resources. It is frequently the case that the overpayment is due to an estimation of a second automobile’s value.
If you have been issued a Notice of Overpayment due to resources, here are a few things to know:
- You can appeal this decision, requesting reconsideration. You need to do this within 60 days of the overpayment notice. You should request reconsideration if you do not agree that you have been overpaid, or if you believe the amount in the overpayment notice is incorrect. You can appeal by filing Form SSA-561, Request for Reconsideration.
- If you agree that you have been overpaid and are willing to pay it back, but cannot afford to pay it back at the rate the goverment is trying to collect at, you can file Form SSA-632, Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery Or Change In Repayment Rate.
- If you agree that you have been overpaid, but you feel you should not have to pay it back because you did not cause the overpayment and you cannot afford to repay it, you canfile Form SSA-632, Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery Or Change In Repayment Rate
There are many things that the government is supposed to exclude when determining resource level for SSI. Your home and an automobile (of any value, if used for transportation)are both excluded.
If you are issued a Notice of Overpayment, read it closely to see what resource (or income) the government believes resulted in the overpayment. If the resource issue relates to a vehicle, consider looking up the “Trade In Value” of your vehicle on NADA Guides. This is where Social Security is supposed to obtain the value of vehicles on this website, but often they do not know enough about the car to get an accurate value. Also, the government is supposed to use a “Trade In Value” when assessing the value of a vehicle, so it is important to confirm that they are using a “Trade In” rather than retail value. Kelly Blue Book is another excellent source for researching the value of a vehicle.
When appealing, you are well-served to provide any documentation that can prove that the government’s estimate is incorrect. If the government over-valued the vehicle, print out the estimates of vehicle value from NADA and Kelly Blue Book to include with your appeal. You can also include a statement regarding the condition of the car, or anything else that can help prove what it is worth.