An overpayment of your Social Security disability benefits is possible. If it happens, you are expected to pay back the money that you received. If you are in the process of filing for bankruptcy, there is a chance that you could get the overpayment debt discharged.
Can the Overpayment Be Discharged?
Unlike other debts that are owed to the government, such as certain tax payments and child support, there is a possibility that you can have an overpayment from the Social Security Administration, or SSA, discharged. If the debt is discharged, you can continue to receive disability payments, but you are not responsible for repaying the overpayment.
An overpayment is considered to be an unsecured debt because it is not backed by collateral. Since unsecured debts are typically discharged, you can include the overpayment in your filing. However, there is one exception that could still result in you being responsible for the overpayment.
When Is the Overpayment Not Dischargeable?
If the SSA can prove that the overpayment was the result of fraud, you cannot have it discharged through bankruptcy. For instance, if it is discovered that you misrepresented your income so that you could meet the income requirements to receive disability, this would be considered fraud. As such, the SSA could object to a discharge of the debt.
When you file for bankruptcy, all of your creditors are notified of your filing. Each creditor has the right to present evidence to show the actual amount of debt that is owed and argue whether or not the debt should stand. If you owe the SSA for an overpayment, there is a good possibility that the agency will object to the discharge.
What Are Your Options?
You have a few options for dealing with the overpayment. You can continue with the filing and hope that the SSA does not object to the discharge. You also have the option of contacting the SSA and working out a repayment plan. Your Social Security disability attorney might be able to negotiate a lower amount if your overpayment is significant. Your final option is to pay back the full amount that is owed to the SSA. If you plan to do this, wait until after you file bankruptcy. Debts that are paid before a filing are highly scrutinized by a bankruptcy trustee.
Before making a decision, it is important to talk to the attorneys that handle both sides of the issue for you. They can provide you with sound advice that applies specifically to your situation.
To reach a professional, contact a lawyer such as Sarah J Liddy Attorney At Law.Share
16 July 2015
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