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Life Health > Annuities

When the Social Security Administration Overpays

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Here’s one troubling risk your clients could face: The Social Security Administration could send them too much cash, then ask your clients to pay the cash back almost immediately.

Rep. Mike Carey, R-Ohio, recently focused on the problem at a House subcommittee hearing.

An SSA official testified that the agency contacts about 1 million Americans about excess benefit payments every year. It gives the beneficiaries just 30 days to send the extra cash back.

Your clients may have been counting on using that cash to pay their bills.

Even if you’ve helped them use mutual funds, annuities, permanent life insurance and other arrangements to cover their expenses, a clawback letter could eat into their rainy-day funds.

Clients can file appeals, but the 30-day repayment window may intimidate them, and the clients have to somehow show that any errors were not their fault.

The SSA emphasizes that beneficiaries facing clawback demands can file appeals, ask for waivers and negotiate repayment plans.

But the idea of making disabled or elderly people do all that within 30 days does not seem fair.

In the short run, we need to know how to connect clients affected by the clawback letters with lawyers who know how to handle them.

In the long run, we need to support efforts to reduce the burden of SSA benefits clawback efforts on the beneficiaries.

Lloyd Lofton (Photo: Lofton)Lloyd Lofton is the founder of Power Behind the Sales and the author of The Saleshero’s Guide To Handling Objections.





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