Are you one of the 300,000 Americans who owe the Social Security Administration money for excess payments received? The Administration is looking to collect more than $700 million, some of it due to overpayments people received when children.
For instance, your parent may have died while you were a minor, and you were eligible for survivor's benefits. But if there was an overpayment made on your behalf, you could be on the hook for the money years later, as an adult.
Also, if you were disabled as a child, you might have received overpayments. Those overpayments would typically be taken out of current payments, once they are discovered. But if disability payments were discontinued because your condition improved, Social Security could try to collect the overpayments years later.
To speed up collections, in 2008 Social Security was given the authority to seize your Federal income tax refunds. But this year they’re cutting you a break in that the Administration has temporarily stopped that policy.
However, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook ...
The debts won't go away. Just like an elephant, the Administration never forgets. When you start receiving retirement benefits, Social Security can deduct the debts from your payments.