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Arizona Social Security Disability Blog

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

When Social Security Disability Benefits are Mistakenly Paid

Q: Do I have to repay disability benefits Social Security paid in error?

Applying for disability benefits is more complex than the public is led to believe.  Unfortunately, this leads many people to apply without legal counsel and is likely the reason that two-thirds of all initial disability benefit applications are denied.

Hiring a skilled Social Security disability benefits attorney with experience in the process may increase the odds of a faster and or more favorable decision. And with disability benefits appeals taking as long as two years before for a hearing, anything that could expedite the process is worth consideration. Especially when the consultation is free.

Sometimes, additional personal circumstances exist that further complicate receiving Social Security disability benefits. One little boy learned that the hard way.

Federal government workers who process disability benefits paperwork aren't perfect, but their mistakes can, unfortunately, result in red tape, delays, and significant financial hardship for innocent benefits recipients. That’s because in instances where Social Security pays benefits to people by mistake--even if it's entirely their mistake-- it's treated as the recipient’s mistake and the benefits must generally be returned.

Social Security disability benefits do not only benefit the recipient whose work record they are based on. Sometimes, the recipient’s child can receive a child benefit based on their parent’s disability benefits.

In one unfortunate case, a young boy who was reportedly receiving child benefits based on his living father's Social Security disability benefits also started receiving child survivor benefit checks based on his deceased mother’s work record shortly after her death and while he was being cared for by his mother's cousin. After about a year, Social Security apparently noticed the mistake and demanded repayment of the overpayment claiming the boy was only entitled to receive "the larger of the child benefit and the child survivor benefit" but not both. The cousin is attempting to challenge the repayment demand.

Whenever a change of circumstances can impact Social Security disability benefits in any manner, hiring a Social Security disability attorney can help prevent and/or resolve potentially costly mistakes.

If you are interested in applying for disability benefits, appealing a denial of benefits, or have any other questions regarding Social Security disability benefits, the disability attorneys of Arizona at Roeschke Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson, we represent disabled people and their families throughout Arizona.


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