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Social Security Underpayments

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | Nov 07, 2012 | 0 Comments

Social Security Underpayments

When a Social Security Disability benefit recipient is entitled to a certain benefit amount, but does not receive that amount, it is referred to as an underpayment by the Social Security Administration. It is estimated that the Social Security Administration may owe as much as $445 million in underpayments to Social Security Disability recipients. There are several scenarios where an underpayment may occur. If the Social Security Disability recipient receives his or her disability checks by mail, and does not receive a check one month from the Social Security Administration, then an underpayment has occurred. In addition, if the Social Security Administration makes a clerical error with regard to the amount of benefits and issues a payment that is less than the awarded amount, an underpayment occurs. A disability underpayment may also occur where the Social Security Disability recipient passes away before they deposit or cash their benefit check. In the event of an underpayment to a deceased person, the Social Security Administration does not require a written request if their records contain sufficient information to determine the identity and current address of all people entitled to the underpayment. If complete information is not available, the Social Security Administration will require a separate written request from at least one person entitled to receive a portion of the underpayment. Depending upon the circumstances, the widow or widower, the child or children, or the parent or parents of the underpaid person may be entitled to the underpayment. Another situation, an underpayment may occur where the Social Security Administration subjects the recipient's benefits to a treasury offset. Treasury offsets occur when the Social Security Disability benefit recipient has unpaid student loans or taxes. Any federal debt may be garnished from a recipient's Social Security Disability payments. When a debt is paid in full and the Social Security Administration issues the recipient's monthly disability payment before their records are updated, an underpayment of disability benefits may occur until the Social Security Administration's records can be properly updated. If you discover that an underpayment has occurred, it is important to try to address the situation as soon as possible. Once you contact the Social Security Administration, and notify them of the underpayment, they will begin an investigation. Once the investigation is completed, the Social Security Administration will pay the recipient the difference between the amount the recipient was paid and the amount the recipient was owed. The underpayment amount may be paid in a single check or added to other benefits that are payable to the recipient. Acting quickly, when you discover that an underpayment has occurred, will generally speed up the process for receiving the remainder of the money you are owed. Particularly in situations where the underpayment is due to a clerical error or a treasury offset, informing the Social Security Administration can help prevent the underpayment occurring for more than one month. Many Social Security Disability recipients are dependent upon their monthly checks and an underpayment can cause serious financial difficulties, and the faster the Social Security Administration knows about the problem, the faster they can issue the payment and hopefully avoid financial problems. See Related Links: Social Security Disability and Unemployment Compensation Four Reasons to Hire a Social Security Attorney

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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